Legislation for federal funding to help protect student athletes from concussions got the National Football League’s backing Monday in the shadow of the stadium where the Super Bowl will be played this weekend.
NFL Senior Vice President Adolpho Birch joined two New Jersey lawmakers in support of legislation drafted following the 2008 death of a New Jersey high school football player.
The proposal by Sen. Robert Menendez and Rep. Bill Pascrell involves national concussion guidelines currently under development for schools and youth sport programs by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The legislation would authorize a 5-year grant program to bring those guidelines to school sports programs nationwide.
The hard-working, fun-loving people who run Sports Are for Everyone (SAFE), a nonprofit program for children with challenges, will now have volunteer support from the U.S. Navy.
The Katy Youth Football league plays its annual championship games in a 10,000-seat stadium. Based outside of Houston, the league boasts 58 teams and more than 1,600 players, including 6-year-olds who wobble comically under 3-pound helmets before crashing into each other and falling down.
The league also could be considered a human laboratory for the National Football League. Led by commissioner Roger Goodell, the NFL has spent $1.5 million to persuade parents in leagues like Katy that it is making football safer by teaching tackling techniques that will reduce concussions.
Management of sport-related concussion involves a step-by-step process say three recently issued concussion guidelines:
The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society endorses USA Football’s Heads Up Football Program
The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society has partnered with USA Football to advance youth and high school football player safety by endorsing USA Football’s Heads Up football program.
About 2,800 youth football leagues representing approximately 600,000 players in 50 states and Washington, D.C., registered for Heads Up Football in 2013 in a commitment to their young athletes’ health and safety. The program is being piloted on the high school level this fall in 35 schools spanning 10 states.
As popular as football is, a recent report stated Pop Warner Youth participation dropped almost 10 percent nationwide between 2010 and 2012.
It seems the NFL’s high profile concussion-related lawsuit not only created daily headlines but also parental fear.
The NFL and USA Football have responded by promoting “Heads Up” Football, a new safety measure that may help bring kids back to the game.