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Running Interference on Youth Football Injuries

By Kris Vagner, News Review, 02/25/19, 12:00PM CST

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A concussion is a brain injury usually caused by a blow to the head. It can affect memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance and muscle coordination.

Over the last decade, participation in youth football nationwide has declined about seven percent. The Sierra Youth Football League—a feeder league for high school teams—has seen similar numbers locally. In 2018, the league had just under 1,200 players, mostly boys and a few girls, ages 5-14. Lately, about 100-150 fewer kids sign up each year.

Why the decrease? Some blame income equality. “Among richer families, youth sports participation is actually rising. Among the poorest households, it’s trending down,” the Atlantic reported in 2018. Some blame video games for taking up too much of kids’ time and attention.