Pop Warner Game Results In Discipline

On September 15th there was a Pop Warner football game for 10-12 year-old’s; it did not end so well for the Tantasqua team, getting drubbed 52-0.  However, that was not the only story line of the game.  Evidently five players suffered a concussion is this ONE game, which resulted in discipline;

The five children missed various numbers of school days because of their injuries, and one has not returned to the field.

The coaches, Southbridge’s Scott Lazo and Tantasqua’s Erik Iller, were suspended for the remainder of the season and placed on probation through the 2013 season after a lengthy hearing Thursday conducted by Central Mass. Pop Warner.

The association presidents, Lazo’s brother, Doug Lazo of Southbridge, and Iller’s wife, Jen Iller of Tantasqua, also were placed on probation through the 2013 season because they attended the game and failed to take action, according to the hearing committee.

In addition, the three officials who worked the game have been permanently banned by Central Mass. Pop Warner.

“Having multiple concussions in one game is something that should never happen, ever,’’ said Patrick Inderwish, president of Central Mass. Pop Warner. “One concussion is too many.’’

If you read the article you will notice Chris Nowinski’s comments regarding the detection of concussion in this age or younger; yet another reason to give serious thought about playing collision football that young.  Pop Warner and USAFootball are trying very hard to create a safe environment, I see it and appreciate it.  What they are not doing is working on alternatives for kids and continue to grasp the old school mentality.

Times have changed, perhaps its time to rethink collision football for kids.

3 thoughts on “Pop Warner Game Results In Discipline

  1. A Concerned Mom October 22, 2012 / 09:19

    Pop Warner and USAFootball may be trying very hard to create a safe environment, but from my perspective one of the major problems seems to be that they’re trying to have volunteers with limited training fill the roles of professionals. There doesn’t seem to be any true oversight of youth football, and enforcement of rules and safety procedures fall on the parents. Unfortunately, parents often don’t have the backgrounds to realize when they need to step in (I speak from experience).

    Some programs seem to be trying hard to keep the kids safe, yet others aren’t, and problems often aren’t identified until after children have been hurt.

    The other day on twitter, an ATC asked me to check around with my contacts to see if anyone had suggestions for who could oversee RTP for youth players since there often aren’t ATC’s or doctors available at the youth level. Recent medical advice is that concussed children require more conservative treatment, yet due to resource limitations people are trying to come up with an acceptable solution to an unacceptable problem.

    The general consensus used to be that little kids couldn’t hit hard enough to do much damage. We now know that isn’t true, and that children are actually more prone to concussions. As Dustin said above: “Times have changed, perhaps its time to rethink collision football for kids.”

    At the very least, we need to recognize that if kids are playing a collision game, they deserve to have an ATC present. A volunteer with limited training and experience can’t be expected to provide the same level of care as a trained professional (could a volunteer tell if training caused slight balance issues or pick-up on any eye tracking issues, highly doubt it). Volunteers also can’t be expected to consistently identify when a particular practice or game situation is becoming too dangerous.

  2. Michael Hopper October 22, 2012 / 14:42

    I think we must eliminate collision from youth football. Risks outweight the benefits. No medical professional can prevent these injuries in the same manner that a simple fix like that can..

  3. Shannon Fabry November 2, 2012 / 17:25

    My 6 year old just got done playing his last game of the season for Willamette Valley Pop Warner Football (Oregon). Once again there were blatant occurrences of face-masking that actually twisted at least 2 children’s heads. Unlike the other games of the season this “Bowl” had referees. They decided they didn’t want to call penalties any more because “it was taking too long.” When I confronted our head coach, Paul Kasperek, who is also the president of the league he asked me what I expected they do about it. I suggested they at least make the player sit out for a given amount of time to illustrate the seriousness. He told me “it happens all throughout the league,” and “if we were to penalize every player when it happened we wouldn’t be able to play.” So it is really that prevalent throughout this league? If the NFL treats their own grown players as this being a serious injury potential, what about our children? And what kinds of skills are we teaching them, let alone sportsmanship. At my son’s level (Tiny Mites) they teach the fundamentals. And this is what they are teaching them. No wonder “it happens at every throughout the league at every level.” This week alone there have been national reports of injury issues in your league’s games. I find it shocking and disappointing that your Safety Policies, etc. only address concussions. The NFL fines players, adds yardage, and/or takes away a team’s time outs for face-masking. Any football fan, let alone coach, can regale numerous neck and/or head injuries that are related to this. The least we can do to teach our children by giving them a good old fashioned time out. Even if the overall Pop Warner League won’t make an official policy, the individual coaches have the power to make that rule for their teams.

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