This is a comment by Shannon Fabry on the post “FIVE Concussions in One Pop-Warner Football Game“.
“My six year old just got done playing his last game of the season for Willamette Valley Pop Warner Football (Oregon). Once again there were blatant occurrences of face-masking that actually twisted at least two children’s heads. Unlike the other games of the season this “Bowl” had referees. They decided they didn’t want to call penalties any more because ‘it was taking too long.’ When I confronted our head coach, Paul Kasperek, who is also the president of the league he asked me what I expected they do about it. I suggested they at least make the player sit out for a given amount of time to illustrate the seriousness. He told me ‘it happens all throughout the league,” and ‘if we were to penalize every player when it happened we wouldn’t be able to play.’
“So it is really that prevalent throughout this league? If the NFL treats their own grown players as this being a serious injury potential, what about our children? And what kinds of skills are we teaching them, let alone sportsmanship. At my son’s level (Tiny Mites) they teach the fundamentals. And this is what they are teaching them. No wonder ‘it happens at every throughout the league at every level.’ This week alone there have been national reports of injury issues in your league’s games. I find it shocking and disappointing that your Safety Policies, etc. only address concussions.
“The NFL fines players, adds yardage, and/or takes away a team’s time outs for face-masking. Any football fan, let alone coach, can regale numerous neck and/or head injuries that are related to this. The least we can do to teach our children by giving them a good old fashioned time out. Even if the overall Pop Warner League won’t make an official policy, the individual coaches have the power to make that rule for their teams.”
Photo credit: Flickr / DC DPR