“So many people have added their voices to this issue, and for the first time, this study shows there’s no scientific evidence concerning concussions to support limiting practice time for young football players. In fact, we encourage practice as a safety and concussion-education precaution.”
A new study out of the University of Pittsburgh is offering the first evidence
that youth football players are at lower risk of getting a concussion during practice than games and experience an overall incidence of concussions similar to that of high school and college players.
Funded by NFL Charities, the study included 468 players from 18 youth football teams in the Pittsburgh suburban area. Concussive incidents were almost nonexistent during practice, occurring at a rate of just .24 per 1,000 exposures (or about one concussive hit in 4,000). During games, however, the rate jumped to 6.16 per exposure.
- The incidence rate of concussions in 8- to 12-year-old players was 1.76 per 1,000 game and practice exposures, comparable to the incidence rate among high school and college players.
- 8- to 10-year-olds were almost three times less likely to suffer a concussion than 11- to 12-year-olds, clocking 0.93 incidents per 1,000 exposures in games and practices compared to 2.53 in the older group.
- Quarterbacks, running backs and linebackers made up 95 percent of reported concussions.