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Ivy League Schools Ban Tackling in Football Practice--Should High Schools Do the Same?

Ivy League Schools Ban Tackling in Football Practice- Should High Schools Do the Same?

In a groundbreaking move, Ivy League coaches have decided to ban tackling in football practices in order to reduce the number of concussions its players sustain.

The coaches are hopeful that limiting full-contact in practices will help prevent potential long-term brain trauma by reducing the number of head injuries players are exposed to.

"The eight Ivy League coaches unanimously approved the measure last week. Their decision is expected to be adopted formally once it is affirmed by the league’s athletic directors, policy committee and university presidents,” The New York Times said.

"The new rule would be in addition to the Ivy League’s existing limits on the amount of full contact in practice during the spring and preseason, which are among the most stringent in collegiate football.”

Though high schools around the country have taken certain measures to attempt to reduce the head trauma student players sustain, last football season 13 high schoolers died in game-related incidents.

"For freshman Tyrell Cameron, it was a fractured neck after being hit during a punt return. Ben Hamm took a hit to the head. The same was true for Kenny Bui and Andre Smith,” said PEOPLE Magazine on some of the deaths.

As opposed to college students and professionals, high school players have developing brains that are more susceptible to injury.

"The coaches of those younger players say 'you have to teach them,' but you don't have to teach them by bashing heads. They way practice is conducted and how frequently you hit needs to change,” said Robert Cantu, M.D., medical director for the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, to PEOPLE Magazine.

Some districts have already jumped on board recently to place restrictions on full-contact football practices- but few have gone so far as to ban tackling in practice altogether.

In California, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that bans high schools from "olding full-contact practices that exceed 90 minutes a day, limits the number of full-contact practices during the season to two per week and prohibits contact practices during the off-season," the Los Angeles Times said. 

What do YOU think? Should the nation's high schools follow in the footsteps of the Ivy League coaches and work to ban tackling during football practices? Voice your opinion by taking our poll below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

3/4/2016

Should high schools ban tackling in football practices?

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