Fans wrapped in layers of blanket gingerly sipping hot cocoa as they gaze out onto the brightly lit field. The pep band plays chorus after chorus of school cheers and anthems. Cheerleaders bounce about and shout to get the crowd excited. The crowd roars its approval as their team gets a touchdown. It’s Friday night football.
Football is a popular American pastime, whether it’s at the professional level or Friday night high school football, fans won’t be disappointed. It’s a game of aggression and strategy. And every so often in the midst of all the fun someone falls prey to the dangers of the game.
MPR News and Kare 11 joined together to do an extensive in-depth report on concussions in high school football athletes. What they found out is there has been drastic changes in how concussions are handled, but schools are still follow different protocols.
• In the three years since a state law required players suspected of suffering head injuries to be pulled from games and not allowed to return without medical clearance, schools have complied hundreds of times. But the law doesn’t require schools to keep track of those injuries. Some do and some don’t.
• Virtually all schools provide parents with detailed information about safety and head injuries. Some schools do more than others.
• Some schools have changed the way they hold practices, reducing the amount of contact between players, and coaches are finding ways to teach students to play differently. Next year, the Minnesota State High School League will require all schools to adopt some practice changes.
The Minnesota State High School League is also implementing additional protocols to protect players.
But even with these additional regulations players could still get hurt, it is a physical contact sport after all.
Today’s Question: Would you encourage a kid to join a football team?