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Poll: Support Rising for Ban on Pre-High School Contact Football

A recent national poll found that support is on the rise for banning youth from playing contact football before they reach high school.

Robert Morris University Polling Institute and the Center for Research and Public Policy conducted the same poll in 2013 and 2014, asking participants if they would support or oppose a ban on youth playing contact football.

“Last year 40.5 percent supported that ban, this time around it jumped to 49.4 percent,” said Jerry Lindsley with the Center for Research and Public Policy. “This was a survey of 1,004 nationwide, a little bit higher among the respondents that had children.”

When the same question was asked – but for children younger than middle school age, support for a ban went from 47.8 percent in 2013 to 55.6 percent in 2014.

“More and more people are seeing the studies; they’re seeing the impact on these kids because despite their height and weight, they’re taking some serious hits to the head which do cause, potentially, spine, neck injuries and such,” said Lindsley.

Lindsley said football will likely never be banned altogether in the U.S. but said support is continuing to rise and more communities are talking about age restrictions because of the possible effects of head injuries in young children.

“Some of these kids are just seven years old and they’re taking hits to the head,” he said, “and for a 7-year-old, immature, developing brain that’s probably not good and it happens probably more than people know in practice and in games as well.”

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