Concussions lead some to ask if high school football should be banned

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Football banned?
Should HS football be banned due to the rise in concussions?

A controversial study suggests high school football should be banned because of the risks associated with head and neck trauma.

According to an article written in "Pediatrics", a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, some leading experts suggest substantive changes in way children are taught to play football and encouraged to practice.

ABC News medical contributor Dr. Richard Besser says parents need to make informed decisions in deciding whether to let their child play.

"As a parent, I did not let my boys play football and as a pediatrician I don't recommend it to my patients, but I don't think football should be banned from school," he said.

The study calls for a number of changes which could make play safer:

-Proper enforcement and instruction on the rules of proper tackling

-Players and parents must decide whether the benefits of playing outweigh the risks

-Non-tackling leagues like flag football should be expanded

-Certified athletic trainers should be on site during games

Some high school coaches see suggestion of a ban as over kill.

"There's just a lot of different avenues where concussions are possible," said Episcopal High Head Football Coach Steve Leisz.

He admits there is a risk to playing football, but adds that of the five concussions among student athletes at episcopal this fall, none were on the football field.

"I wouldn't put any of our boys through anything I wouldn't put my boys through. I've had three boys thru the program," he said.

Leisz is a supporter of limited contact in practices.