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Please Refer to Attached documents for additional information

Concussion in sports policies.pdf

Concussion Signs and Symptoms.pdf

Concussion_Action Plan.pdf

HeadsUp Concussion For Parents.pdf

HeadsUpConcussion For Coaches.pdf

HeadsUpConcussion For Parents andAthletes.pdf





Age, not weight, should determine playing divisions


By Will Frasure Thu, 09/01/2011 - 11:28am 

Children grow at their own pace – physically, mentally and psychologically.

Child and adolescent experts, including those on USA Football’s Football and Wellness Committee, agree that a young athlete’s size is a less accurate indicator of maturity than is a player’s age and coordination, which creates strength and power. Older but lighter youth football players have a greater ability to create force because of their physical maturity, a key factor behind USA Football’s support of age-based play.

“Youth leagues that are structured by player age and not size give more kids the opportunity to play and provide a more enjoyable football experience for their players,” USA Football Director of Football Development Nick Inzerello said.

As players get older, their psychological maturity gives them an advanced grasp of winning and competition, Inzerello said. Players of similar age, even if there is a noticeable size difference, often are on the similar psychological levels of maturity, which provides a better determinant of equal competition than size alone.

Bigger players can be restricted to the offensive line and other non-ball-carrying positions, and by being identified with a stripe on their helmet, the play is blown dead should they gain possession of the ball.

Keeping players of the same age together and not making move up or down divisions based on weight, some leagues are finding more balanced competition.

Christine Johnt is the secretary and treasurer of the Niagara (N.Y.) Orleans Football Association. She said she saw the injury rate in her league go down after weight-based restrictions were removed.

Johnt said younger players “playing up” into older divisions based solely on weight often were slower developing or overmatched alongside their older teammates. By playing with their peers, bigger athletes can better develop into positions they likely will continue on with in high school.

“It’s almost discrimination against the bigger players,” Johnt said. “Without the limits, more kids want to play, and they’re more ready for the next level.”

Age-based divisions also eliminate bigger participants from having to lose weight quickly in order to play. This could involve quick, unhealthy tactics to drop pounds, such as fasting and extensive exercise without proper nutrition.

A Cal-State Fullerton study showed that wrestlers who cut weight may not lose strength but often suffer cognitive effects, such as confusion before a match.

Johnt never wants to see a growing child do that to his or her body.

“That can be dangerous,” she said. “I’m definitely opposed to it.”

Calvin Massie, commissioner of the Prince George County (Va.) Boys and Girls Club, has moved from strictly weight to a mixture of weight-based and age-based leagues. He also fears that players would try to lose weight before games just to remain eligible.

“You’d see kids out there running before games, trying to sweat off the extra weight,” Massie said. “You’d have parents complaining about it, too. That’s something we hopefully won’t have to see anymore.”

A study by the Mayo Clinic at Arizona State in 2002 examined injuries in youth football and showed no significant relationship between body weight and injury. USA Football will begin conducting a nationwide study in 2012 on this subject as well.

“If you have a 12-year-old going up against a 9- or 10-year-old, even if they’re a little smaller, that 12-year-old is going to have an advantage,” Massie said. “He’s had so many more years to mature and grow into his body.”

The chance to play with their peers is also is better socially for youth players. A younger player could be intimidated and feel out of place while participating with older players, while a smaller, older player could feel awkward playing with people younger than him.

Anne Pankhurst, the Player Progression Development Model consultant to USA Football and education consultant to the Professional Tennis Registry, believes playing with peers makes the game more enjoyable for youth football players.

“Research has shown that kids play sport for a number of reasons – and one of them is to be with their friends,” Pankhurst said. “Weight based competition means young players miss being with their peer group. This could lead them to stop playing football altogether.

“As adults, we need to understand the many reasons why young players take part and make efforts to ensure that football training and competition is enjoyable.”

 Injuries Uncommon in Youth Football, Mayo Clinic Study Reports

Mayo Clinic Rochester
Thursday, April 11, 2002

ROCHESTER, MINN. -- A Mayo Clinic study of youth football showed that most injuries that occurred were mild, older players appeared to be at a higher risk and that no significant correlation exists between body weight and injury.
The study, which appears in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that the data for athletes grades four through eight indicated that the risk of injury in youth football does not appear greater than the risk associated with other recreational or competitive sports.
"Our analysis showed that youth football injuries are uncommon," said Michael J. Stuart, M.D., a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon and the principal author of the study.
Dr. Stuart and his colleagues studied 915 players aged 9 to 13 years, who participated on 42 football teams in the fall of 1997. Injury incidence, prevalence and severity were calculated for each grade level and player position. Additional analyses examined the number of injuries according to body weight.
A game injury was defined as any football-related ailment that occurred on the field during a game that kept a player out of competition for the reminder of the game, required the attention of a physician, and included all concussion, lacerations, as well as dental, eye and nerve injuries. The researchers found a total of 55 injuries occurred in games during the season — a prevalence of six percent. Incidence of injury expressed as injury per 1,000 player-plays was lowest in the fourth grade (.09 percent), increased for the fifth, sixth and seventh grades (.16 percent, .16 percent, .15 percent respectively) and was highest in the eighth grade (.33 percent).
Most of the injuries were mild and the most common type was a contusion, which occurred in 33 players. Four injuries (fractures involving the ankle growth plate) were such that they prevented players from participating for the rest of the season. No player required hospitalization or surgery.
The study’s authors said risk increases with level of play (grade in school) and player age. Older players in the higher grades are more susceptible to football injuries. The risk of injury for an eighth-grade player was four times greater than the risk of injury for a fourth-grade player. Potential contributing factors include increased size, strength, speed and aggressiveness. Analysis of body weight indicated that lighter players were not at increased risk for injury, and in fact heavier players had a slightly higher prevalence of injury. This trend was not statistically significant. Running backs are at greater risk when compared with other football positions, the researchers reported.
Other authors who contributed to the study include: Michael A. Morrey, Ph.D., Aynsley M. Smith, RN, Ph.D., John K. Meis, M.S., all from the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and Cedric J. Ortiguera, M.D., a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon in Jacksonville, Fla.
Mayo Clinic Proceedings is a peer-reviewed and indexed general internal medicine journal, published for 75 years by Mayo Foundation, with a circulation of 130,000 nationally and internationally.