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No Game for Boys to PlayThe History of Youth Football and the Origins of a Public Health Crisis$
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Kathleen Bachynski

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653709

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653709.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

The Rough and Tumble

The Rough and Tumble

What Counts as a Football Injury?

(p.95) Chapter Five The Rough and Tumble
No Game for Boys to Play

Kathleen Bachynski

University of North Carolina Press

Whether a child’s death or injury associated with playing football could in fact be attributed to football was a crucial question in evaluating the sport’s risks. On a technical level, doctors debated such issues as whether heat strokes that athletes suffered while playing in hot weather constituted a direct or indirect injury. More broadly, doctors, coaches, parents, and sports supervisors debated whether certain risks were unique to the particular nature and techniques of football, or simply inherent to the “rough and tumble” of an active childhood. Putting football’s risks in context often involved comparisons to other activities, from driving to boxing to playing baseball. As doctors sought to identify ways to minimize the dangers, their beliefs in the sport’s social benefits shaped their interpretation of those dangers. The conceptualization of football injuries as a medical issue was deeply tied up with ideological, moralistic, religious, and nationalistic beliefs about the role of youth sports.

Keywords:   Football, Coaches, Death, Doctors, Injury, Risk, Youth sports, Social benefits, Danger

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