Originally shown at http://www.espn.com/espn/page2/story/_/id/6993005/tmq
Should There Be Youth Football? In light of rising medical evidence that cumulative harm from many minor blows to the head in youth can manifest as brain trauma in adulthood, TMQ asked last season whether the fad for youth tackle football is backfiring. One of TMQ's editors, who lives in Farmington, Conn., reported, "I have an 11-year-old son who wants to play tackle football more than anything else. We're from Texas, he grew up around it, and he is in love with football. I've always discouraged him from playing, because of the risks.
"We went to a clinic for a youth football organization in Farmington called the Mud Hogs. They went over all the safety rules. At the smallest level, kids who weigh 100 pounds or more cannot carry the ball nor play linebacker. All the teams have a minimum number of snaps kids get. They made it clear that their brand of youth football is not win-at-all-costs. They focus on kids having fun and building self-esteem. They recommended the Shock Doctor mouthpiece, not the old boil-and-bites. They have a safety coordinator. So apparently it's possible to do youth football the right way."