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Youth Football

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Youth Football essay
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In this paper, I will explain why youth football should not be taken away, but encouraged. First I will explain where football came from and how it has evolved over time. Then I will explain how the pros are stronger than the cons.

The original founder of football is Walter Camp, also known as “The god-father of football.” Football was created by a mix of rugby and soccer. Football is not played the same way as it was when it was first founded. The game has slowly evolved, from the rules to the type of field they play on. For every rule change, there is a reason behind that change. As time goes on, technology grows, and advances in research are made, the rules also develop and grow. For example, today the quarterback can throw anywhere from behind the line of scrimmage. When football was founded, that was not the case. If the quarterback was going to throw the ball, he would have had to drop back five yards to make a legal pass.

When the game first started, it was on a grass field, then terra ludas, then back to grass, and now most fields are turf. “From its inception, football was played on grass. But, depending on the region, different stadiums use different types of grass: Kentucky Blue, Bermuda, Rye, Fescue, and so on. Of course, different types of grass result in different playing fields and practice fields, giving credence to the idea of home-field advantage as local players become accustomed to the barely perceptible variations in the ground beneath their feet” (Stamps). Today technology is helping the NFL to develop turf that can help prevent concussions or any other type of injury. Out of all these, the helmet is the most developed out of them all.

When football was first introduced, the players either wore nothing or just leather. Then the players wore plastic helmets with the same materials as the shoulder pads. “In the early 1970s Riddell set the standard once again by introducing it’s HA series of helmets that featured vinyl pads inside the helmet that could be filled with air to further absorb impact and facilitate a more custom fit. Riddell’s Revolution Speed helmet is now the standard in the game and though plastic is still stuff headgear is made of, science continues to formulate new variations that perform better at lighter weights both inside and outside of the helmet” (Daughters).

The rules have started getting more and more strict about certain things. For example, the crown of the helmet rule. This rule restricts the way a player can tackle or the way the ball runner can defend a tackle. The crown of the helmet is the very top of the helmet. “A rule that prohibits a runner or tackler from initiating forcible contact with the helmet’s crown, unless it occurs in the area of the field between the offensive tackles” (NFL). Also the facemask rule, “Starting in 2008, every facemask infraction now cost the offending team 15 yards” (Hoffman). The changes of the rules are for the protection of the players. A big reason not to ban youth football is to teach the kids the right form at a younger age. “The way we teach tackling by removing the head and using shoulders is preventing injuries and still allowing kids to play the game hard and safely” (Rutgers).

One of the big issues in football is concussions. Kids and young adults tend to always take risks in activities. “The first reason not to support such a ban is that it is impossible to legislate away all adolescent risk-taking behaviors. The adolescent brain is not fully myelinated or ‘hard-wired’ compared to a mature and developed adult brain. The process of myelination involves deposition of a fatty covering around the nerve cells or neurons. Thus, it has what we refer to as ‘high synaptic plasticity,’ making it wildly creative relative to the more inhibited adult brain” (Glatter). If a child gets a concussion, there is no scientific research that says it is a long term effect. If they get more than one then that’s a different scenario.

“Not substantive scientific evidence indicating that sub-concussive or even concussive impacts in youth have deleterious long-term health effects. The vast majority of children will recover from a concussion without any adverse sequelae. Increased recognition of the problem and rule changes are making sports safer” (Glatter). To help prevent children from getting injuries at a young age, rules should start being placed at a young age too. “Forty million children participate in organized sports each year. Protecting them from head injury is a big task. Youth sports organizations generally do an admirable job. In the past decade, the U.S. Soccer Federation has banned heading for players 10 years old and younger and limited heading for players 11 to 13. USA Hockey no longer allows body checking until players are 13. Even tackle football is safer” (Cantu).

A big pro of playing football is the healthy lifestyle that players develop. Kids who play football tend to be in better shape and in better state of mind. Players will typically eat healthier to stay in shape. A con of playing football is possible injuries. Injuries are a part of life, but playing football just increases the chances of getting hurt. Another pro is setting goals. Players will set goals throughout the season and throughout the off season. It may be doing 10 push-ups a day to doing 100 push-ups a day. Or if a player gets hurt, the player will set a goal to heal and come back better and stronger than they were before they got hurt. The point is that players are setting goals and trying to reach them. By doing this, they are creating habits that will help them be successful later on in life. As adults they may set goals to be the best employee at their job, or to save enough money to buy a car.

This leads into the pros and cons of character development. Players will learn how to deal with problems in their life. “Kids learn about teamwork- overcoming adversity, dealing with challenges and pushing themselves” (Mantz). Sometimes a player does not have the right coach for them to learn the right life lessons. If a kid is taught to win at any cost everytime instead of doing the right thing, then they will always keep that philosophy. But if they learn to keep their goals and do the right thing whenever presented the chance, then they will help others instead of hurt others. “Too often, athletes see sport as an opportunity to sacrifice their bodies for the betterment of the team, as well as to gain favor with a coach.

Just as with loyalty, though, sacrificing self can be for a bad cause — it has to be weighed against the development of the whole person”(Acquaviva). “They develop mental- physical and emotional toughness. Football is not easy- kids learn that they can achieve and develop courage and It can be done in a safe way. People who never played don’t fully understand the rewards and the confidence and self –esteem that develops through playing football” (Mantz). Football players will learn how to stay loyal to someone or something. “Loyalty, by definition, means being faithful to an obligation, but we need to determine if the cause or person is worthwhile. It’s possible to be loyal to a bad cause. While being loyal may lead to positive outcomes, it could also mean following corrupt leadership from a coach, a parent, or a teammate” (Acquaviva).

Another thing that players will learn is how to face their fears and to face their problem. “In football, kids are forced to go against something that they are scared or intimidated by. And anyone who has ever been the over-matched kid in a tackling drill will tell you, as long as you go low and use proper technique, you can take down anyone” (Mantz).

Players will learn how to be honest and fair with other people. If a referee makes a wrong call then a player can be honest with them and try and correct it. “Let’s face it: being honest in all of life’s situations is one of the biggest challenges we face. And while competing in sports, it can be especially hard because of the strong desire to win (or avoid embarrassment)”(Acquaviva). The players will also learn how to treat others fair, this may be by helping an opponent up off the ground or by telling someone good play.

“So, when Player A hits the ball to the opposite court near the sideline or baseline, Player B makes the call on whether the ball is in or out. The arrangement can cause a set of problems, of course, but it also allows the opportunity for student-athletes to display great sportsmanship. This particular player told me that she handles the situation very pragmatically: if she feels that her opponent is calling her shots correctly, she will do the same with her opponent’s shots. But if she feels her opponent is cheating, she will regularly indicate that the ball is out, even when it’s in. Honesty gets trumped in the need to be fair”(Acquaviva). Being honest is a hard thing to do. Players don’t always want to be honest so they can have an advantage.

“One significant exception to this is found in golf. Just like in tennis, if you’re playing golf recreationally or even in college, there are no judges or marshals, so virtually every penalty is self-imposed. In addition, every golfer would agree that the opportunities to be dishonest are nearly infinite: gentling pushing your ball away from a tree root before the next shot, or acting as if a found ball is yours when the original cannot be located”(Acquaviva). One of the biggest ones is respect. If a player does not have any respect, then they cannot grow as a person or a player. To be able to have respect, a player has to have the ability to listen, acknowledge, and then carry out. Respecting someone also means to acknowledge the opponent’s skills and adjust to them. “A great hitter in Major League Baseball was interviewed and asked why, when he crushes a mammoth home run, he acts nonchalantly, as though he just hit an easy infield pop-up.

His response: ‘The guy pitching has to earn a living, too, and he’s already pretty embarrassed he gave up a big home run. He doesn’t need another reminder that he failed.’… Is it difficult at times to be moral and ethical when trying to win? Of course. Is morality an intentional act, and does it take practice to perfect? Absolutely. But just like our faith only grows through intentional practice, so it goes with life outside stained-glass windows. ‘Sport builds character’ is a common expression. But many who experience sport firsthand feel that such an expression is simply wishful thinking. It’s also been said (and closer to the truth) that sport reveals character”(Acquaviva).

Another thing football has benefits for is jobs. Football has created thousands of jobs and is still creating more. Most people would not think about the effect of football creating jobs. “More than some might think, it turns out. The sports industry as a whole brings roughly $14.3 billion in earnings a year — and that’s not even counting the Niagara of indirect economic activity generated by Super Bowl Sunday (well-known for being the second foodiest day in the country, behind Thanksgiving). The industry also contributes 456,000 jobs with an average salary of $39,000 per job” (Burrow). The jobs go from the players all the way to the janitors. These jobs help people provide for their families and their living. Part of the economic impact involves jobs.

According to Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., as of 2013, the sports industry in America produced 456,000 jobs (average salary $39,000). These jobs include far more than just the athletes. “EMSI looked at other occupations involved with spectator sports such as coaches, referees and agents. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the many stadium vendors and their employees, front-office personnel, etc” (Depta). These jobs may go deeper than just a job. They may go into a deep city pride. For example, the Kansas City Chiefs made it to the NFL Super Bowl in 2019. As a thank you, the Kansas City Chiefs took every single KC Chiefs employee to Florida where the 2019 Super Bowl was held, and gave them tickets to the game.

The employees also got to bring some of their family so they could have an amazing family experience. “Along with national pride goes city pride. There is a certain togetherness, a certain camaraderie that total strangers can achieve simply by virtue of living in the same city and rooting for the same team. Look at the Seattle Seahawks. Their fans are so proud and united, they consider themselves part of the team, the 12th man on the football field. In fact, the Seahawks are actually trying to trademark the number 12” (Depta). The jobs of the players and coaches go deeper than just playing. They go into showing people how to respect and care for others, they show younger kids, or even adults, how to be great role models for other people.

So in conclusion, football has more pros than cons. People who play football or any type of sport have a great chance of being successful. A player who learns the right and wrong of the character building will have a higher chance to become a better person. I have also explained how football helps create jobs. I have also shown how football and all other sports also bring friends, family, and even cities together. Finally I have shown how football players could be a great role model for younger kids. “Ask young children who their role models are, and I bet a good amount of them would name an athlete.

Recently, a 7-year-old boy sent his Pee-Wee football jersey to Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. The boy, Anthony Tarantelli, included a letter and called himself Watt’s ‘biggest fan.’ Watt, who has gained a reputation as one of the NFL’s biggest role models, responded by sending the young boy some gear and a letter of his own. Matt Hammond of Sports Radio 610 reported that when asked if he considers himself a role model, Watt said, ‘I’ve always felt as though there’s people who look up to us, or look up to me, so I try to provide the best example possible. I don’t judge anybody else. I can only speak for myself.’” (Depta)

Work Cited

  1. Burrow, Gwen, et al. “Not Just a Game: The Impact of Sports on the U.S. Economy.” Emsi, 9 June 2017, www.economicmodeling.com/2013/07/09/not-just-a-game-the-impact-of-sports-on-u-s-economy/.
  2. Daughters, Amy. “The Evolution of Football Equipment.” Bleacher Report, Bleacher Report, 4 Oct. 2017, http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1642538-the-evolution-of-football-equipment#slide6
  3. Depta, Laura. “12 Ways Sports Make a Positive Impact.” Bleacher Report, Bleacher Report, 3 Oct. 2017, https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2347988-12-ways-sports-make-a-positiveimpact.
  4. Hoffman, Robert. “NFL Rankings: The 16 Best NFL Rule Changes in History.” Bleacher Report, Bleacher Report, 3 Oct. 2017, https://bleacherreport.com/articles/748241-nfl-rankings-the-16-best-nfl-rule-changes-in-history#slide2.
  5. NFL “Evolution of the NFL Rules: NFL Football Operations.” Evolution of the NFL Rules | NFL Football Operations, 2019, https://operations.nfl.com/the-rules/evolution-of-the-nfl-rules/.
  6. Robert C. Cantu, Mark Hyman. “Perspective | Children, Tackle Football and the Possible Dangers of Brain Diseases.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 19 Aug. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/health/children-tackle-football-and-the-possible-dangers-of-brain-diseases/2019/08/16/5435832a-b2f8-11e9-951e-de024209545d_story.html.
  7. Robert Glatter, MD. “The Reasons Not To Ban Contact Sports For Children: An Answer To ‘Concussion’.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 23 Dec. 2015, www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2015/12/23/the-reasons-not-to-ban-contact-sports-in-children-an-answer-to-the-concussion-movie/#28ef42d75511.
  8. Youth Football, et al. “How Playing Youth Football Builds Character.” Youth Football Online, 9 May 2019, https://youthfootballonline.com/how-playing-youth-football-builds-character/.
  9. Youth Football, et al. “Why Youth Football Shouldn’t Be Banned- Coach Rick Mantz.” Youth Football Online, 17 Apr. 2019, https://youthfootballonline.com/why-youth-football-shouldnt-be-banned-coach-rick-mantz/.

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Youth Football. (2021, Jul 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/youth-football/

FAQ

Is there a NFL for kids?
Through camps, activities, NFL FLAG and tackle leagues, the Play Football initiative provides a fun and engaging experience for players of all ages and skill levels , equipping young people with key life skills that are building blocks to success on and off the field. Want to learn more?
What age do you play 11 a side Football?
The competition will provide 11-a-side football for players who have attained the age of 10 as at midnight 31st August in a playing season and Mini-Soccer for players who have attained the age of 6 years but not the age of 10 years as at midnight on 31st August in a playing season.
What age is youth in Football?
FA rules do permit a child to “Play Up” a year (an under 9 can play for under 10's) but under no circumstances can a child play for the age group below. Rules for Youth Football (Age Groups) Age as of 31/08/2015 School Year in Sept 2015 Football Age Group for 2015/2016 Season 12 Year 8 Under 13 13 Year 9 Under 14 14 Year 10 Under 15 15 Year 11 Under 16 7 more rows
What does youth mean in Football?
Youth Football means those participating at ages under 11s to under 18s . Unless stated otherwise, terms referring to natural persons are applicable to both genders.
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