Study Validates Reduced Practice Contact

But are the findings reliable?

Increased practice time in youth tackle football devoted to learning how to hit and absorb hits does not translate to a decrease in game time injuries, according to a recent study by  researchers at Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. This refutes concerns that failure to teach kids how to hit in practice would result in them getting “blown away” during games. Researchers concluded that the amount of contact exposure in practice can be greatly reduced, which would protect participants against brain injuries.

The study included three youth tackle football teams in Virginia and North Carolina. Six accelerometer monitoring devices were placed in each of the helmets and the number of hits and the forces from each hit were measured during practices and games. The study drew its conclusions from the fact thaconcussion-law-art-gfcmm22o-104-middleschool-concussions-clh-jpgt the differences in the number of hits were about the same for practice and games.

In my opinion

I’m not sure that the data collected in this study should result in the conclusion that was drawn. It would seem to me that the study would need to compare the same results between teams with average and reduced practice time devoted to full contact.

Source: Sporting Kid; Fall 2013. “Youth Football Contact Drills Don’t Lead to Improved Protection on Game Day, Study Finds.”