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"USA Football, the national governing body for amateur football, intends to introduce a drastically altered youth football game in response to declining participation and increasing public belief that the game is not safe for children to play," the New York Times reports.
"The organization has created a new format that brings the game closer to flag football and tries to avoid much of the violence in the current version. Among the rule changes: Each team will have six to nine players on the field, instead of 11; the field will be far smaller; kickoffs and punts will be eliminated; and players will start each play in a crouching position instead of in a three-point stance."
Responded our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman: "Well lookee here!"
That's because Coach has been calling for these kind of changes for years, especially the part about the three-point stances, on The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour.
He's been deeply involved in youth sports for years, and is on the board of the Positive Coaching Alliance. He's an expert. And he's right.
You can hear him talk about the PCA it at the 58:25 mark here.
See also his T-Ball Journal.
And his column about his daughter and youth soccer, Winning The Weekend.
Back to the Times:
"Worries about the future of youth football are mounting as evidence of long-term cognitive dangers of playing the game grows.
"For years, the sport's top officials have played down the science and insisted that tackle football could be played safely. Neurologists have found a degenerative brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, in an alarming number of former football players, and last year the NFL's top health and safety officer acknowledged for the first time the link between the disease and brain trauma sustained on the field.
"This is the future of the game," Scott Hallenbeck, the executive director of USA Football, said in an interview at the organization's annual convention here last weekend. "All of this is all about how do we do a better job, and a smarter job around the development of athletes and coaches in the game of football."
Previously in concussions:
* Bob Probert's Broken Brain.
-More from Beachwood Sports »