Future of High School Football and Brain Injuries in California

_DSC6907Eight high school football players in the country have already died from sports-related injuries sustained this season. With increased focus across the nation on the risks of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and high school sports, officials in California have decided to take a closer look at the future of high school football in our state. According to a recent article in the Contra Costa Times, in response to football fatalities, “the administrator who oversees high school athletics in California raised concerns this week about the sport’s future.

Critical Juncture in High School Football

Does high school football have a future in the San Diego area? Or do the risks of traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries (SCIs), and other serious wounds outweigh student and parent interest in allowing the sport to continue? Roger Blake, the executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), suggested that we may not see football being played at high schools in a handful of years: “I think honestly—and I say this in all sincerity—I think high school football, we’re at a critical juncture in the next two to three years.”

What could lead the administrator to shut down football programs at local high schools? Blake explained that the CIF is “going to have to watch and look at the medical science and see what the community says about the future.” It is not just California schools that could put an end to high school football. Blake emphasized that school districts and athletics programs across the country are all at the same “critical juncture.”

Keeping Sports-Related Injuries in Perspective

While it is possible that the CIF could reevaluate the risks and reward of high school football in the coming years, Blake emphasized that it is important for parents and school officials to keep the number of fatal sports-related accidents in perspective. As he explained, there are “more kids involved in tragic accidents in cars at 15 years old than the 1.1 million high school football players playing.” In other words, more students sustain deadly injuries in car accidents each year—by far—than do students on football fields. Yet that fact alone cannot be enough to maintain support for a sport that may be putting youth athletes at unnecessary risk of injury.

Blake indicated that the CIF wants to focus on ways to make the game safer for teenagers in California high schools. While the CIF pays close attention to medical reports about sports-related concussions, TBIs, and other catastrophic injuries. The focus of the CIF, however, remains on making football (and other contact sports) safer without eradicating such athletics programs altogether. The article noted that, while Blake discussed the CIF’s position on sports-related injuries and high school football, another young player sustained fatal injuries on the football field.

Sports-related injuries can be debilitating and even deadly. Football players are at serious risk of suffering traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other catastrophic injuries on the field. In many cases, these injuries could have been prevented. If your child suffered a severe sports-related injury, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. You should discuss your case with an aggressive San Diego brain injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about our services.

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New Report on Football-Related Brain Injuries and CTE

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