07

Football Follies

Notice reached the MHSAA office of a so-called “2014 Michigan Youth Football Classic” that invites youth league teams to “a great weekend of youth tackle football.” For $450 per team, youth football teams will bang bodies for two days – Nov. 8 and 9 – with each team guaranteed at least three games. Three!

No level of football but this – for the youngest players who have the most vulnerable skulls – allows the idiocy of three games in a weekend. Most limit competition to a maximum of one game in a week!

In my opinion, this isn’t a football classic. It’s child abuse.

I wish the foolishness would stop there, but even an organization called USA Football seems to have lost its head. Initially and mostly with funding from the NFL, USA Football was focused on teaching youth football coaches and players safe blocking and tackling techniques. Good.

But now this pseudo-national governing body for amateur football is planning events for various age groups that will extend tackle football practices and games throughout what used to be an off-season. Multiple competitions in tackle football are scheduled for high school age players in January, February and July of 2015.

At a time when professional, college, school and Pop Warner football are all reducing contact during practices in-season, USA Football wants to expand the contact experience out of season. It makes about as much sense as three games in a weekend.

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From the Director

From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.