Is youth football participation really declining?
There has been a lot of talk about the NFL the past few years that go beyond the classic debate of which team will hold up the next Vince Lombardi Trophy and weekly fantasy football jabs. The NFL has seen a steady share of challenges from the mishandling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal to the recent polarization of the Anthem demonstrations. This season, TV ratings continue to decline, forcing team owners and the league to scramble into emergency meetings to strategize a comeback. Even the Google search trend for ‘NFL’ on Sunday’s is down 25% from the peak 3 weeks ago.
The last few years have been a small sample, what about the longevity of the sport? Well, that is not looking good either. A recent analysis obtained data from 98% of US high schools and the result shows a small, but steady decline in football participation since the peak in 2009. Part of the decline is believed to be a direct result of growing health concerns about concussion risks. I still think it’s far too early to predict where football will be in the next 10 or 20 years. It’s still an extremely popular sport in the US and scientists still have only just begun to understand the potential physiological affects. In my opinion, I think it is safe to say that youth football has far more advantages (teamwork, exercise, discipline, comradery, competition, etc.) than disadvantages.
What are you thoughts? Please leave a comment and be sure to visit the link below from Live Science that inspired and is the source of this post.
Source: Is Youth Football Past Its Prime?