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The Crossroads of Pop Warner Football

            Pop Warner football player Donovan Hill had hopes and dreams of playing college football one day, but tragically all those hopes and dreams changed in a matter of one play. In a southern California Pop Warner championship, Donovan went to make a tackle an opposing player with his head down. After the contact was initiated Donovan flopped to the ground, landed face down, and laid there motionless. Donovan had broken his neck and became permanently paralyzed from the neck down. Due incidents like this one occurring across America because of contact football, youth football organizations across the country should take contact out of the game.
             The first issue with youth contact football is the lack of education and knowledge of the coaches and parents. Most coaches are just volunteer parents with little to no education on injuries and how to treat them. The sports culture for youths in suburbs, which have more education and have more sports to choose from, is starting to change as they fade away from football, which could explain why Pop Warner lost 23,612 players from 2010-2012(Fainaru 1), while their urban and rural counterparts do not have the options to play other sports and do not receive the education to realize youth football is dangerous. .
             The parents that are educated on the dangers of contact football are beginning to believe that if there are no major changes made to how the game is played, they will question football's place in a civilized society (Jackson 1). Tony Strickland, a professor at UCLA, says the cases of CTE in retired NFL players have caused parents concern, with "good reason". These two statements could be backed by the facts that U.S.A football for youth fell from 3 million to 2.8 million for ages six to fourteen and the National Sporting Goods Association reported a 13% decline in tackle football from 2011-2013(Jackson 1). A Pittsburgh Tribune review released by Robert Morris polling institute also could suggest that America's opinion on contact football is rapidly changing.

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