Study: Physical Causes of Concussions in Youth Football

And potential for lowering the numbers

A new study by Sadler Sports Insurance and American Youth Football (AYF), the world’s largest youth football organization, reveals the actual physical cause of concussions in youth tackle football ages 5 to 15. The study included 2,231 Accident insurance claims filed over the years 2004 to 2013. During this time period, 5.58 percent of total claims reported were due to concussions. Below are trends for the physical cause of concussion claims:

Contact with the ground

Tackled by player

Collision with opponent/other

Tackling player

Blocked by player

Collision with teammate

Blocking payer

Other

Total

28%

25%

17%

12%

6%

5%

4%

3%

100%

Another way to consolidate the claim information is as follows:

Collision with player

Contact with ground

Other

Total

69%

28%

3%

100%

One of the primary risk management controls to reduce concussions in youth tackle football is the emphasis on the safe tackling techniques demonstrated in the Seattle Seahawks’ tackle training video. These methods would likely impact those concussion claims resulting from tackling players and tackled by player for a total potential 37% reduction of all concussion claims. In addition, they would also reduce sub-concussive impacts and reinforce the more effective tackling technique.

Our earlier studies on concussions in AYF indicated that the vast majority of concussions occur during games – only 28 percent of concussion claims occur during practice. For more information on claims occurring in youth tackle football, see AYF Releases Data on Injuries in Youth Tackle Football.