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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



No Game for Boys to Play

(p.210) Epilogue
No Game for Boys to Play

Kathleen Bachynski

University of North Carolina Press

Contemporary debates over head injuries in youth football are at a crossroads, with competing framings of the risks of traumatic brain injuries resulting in significantly different potential responses to addressing the sport’s risks. The prevailing framework, shaped in many ways by the NFL and other sports organizations, suggests that improved adult supervision, return-to-play guidelines, better helmet design, and other similar strategies can sufficiently address the risks of youth football. An alternative interpretation of the scientific evidence on sub-concussive hits, however, indicates that the full-body collisions associated with tackling carry inherent risks of brain trauma that cannot be substantially reduced. The cultural values and meanings attached to youth football inform these contemporary debates, as well as the possible future of America’s most popular sport.

Keywords:   Brain injuries, Collisions, Risks, Sport, Youth, NFL, Cultural values, Youth, Football

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