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Concussion Study Makes Case for Reducing Contact Drills for Youth Players

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Author: 
Ken Belson
Published Date: 
25 July 2013
Publication: 
The New York Times
Original article: 

Youth football players are not more vulnerable to head hits in games if they take part in fewer contact drills during practices, a new study published in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering showed.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, comes amid a debate over how much practice is needed to prepare young players to protect themselves during games and to block and tackle in a safe way.

The study’s conclusion — that the amount of practice does not influence the number of head hits absorbed during games — may bolster calls to reduce the frequency of contact drills in youth football leagues. N.F.L., college and high school teams have already scaled back the number of contact drills in practices.

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