In 2016, the NCAA introduced a new kickoff rule on an experimental basis for eight private, Ivy League universities. League coaches recommended the change when 2015 data showed that kickoffs made up only 6 percent of plays but accounted for 21 percent of concussions. Kickoffs are the only play "where players on both teams have the space to get up to full speed," potentially risking injury from a head-on tackle, noted the lead author of a recent study.
There has been a growing awareness of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease believed to be caused by repeated head trauma causing a series of otherwise non-dangerous concussions. In 2015, the movie "Concussion" taught the world about the condition and its apparent prevalence among football players. The disease is thought to affect others experiencing mild brain trauma repeatedly, such as members of the military and domestic violence survivors.
People who have suffered traumatic brain injuries -- even mild ones -- may be at greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a recent study in the journal Neurology.
Could playing youth football be putting your child at risk for a degenerative brain disorder? It's a risk, according to a new study at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University. Kids who play tackle football before age 12 are at risk for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and they may see symptoms years earlier than those who do not.