CHEEKTOWAGA, New York — A youth football league in New York is reducing the amount of full contact practices by 66 percent to improve player safety.
"The association has made policy changes to drastically reduce full-contact practices in an effort to increase the safety of our players," a press release from the Cheektowaga Little Loop Athletic Association said.
USA Football has established guidelines that suggest youth football players should limit full-contact practices to 90-minutes a week. The CLL had been following that recommendation, but decided to take it one step further and limit full-contact practices to 30 minutes a week during the regular and postseasons.
In a study by the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, there were 3.42 million visits to emergency rooms in the U.S. regarding concussion related symptoms from sports and recreational activities from 2001-2012. Around 70 percent of those people were 19 or younger.
Concussions have been a big issue as more research comes out regarding the consequences of repeated high impact blows to the head. According to NFL.com the number of concussions dropped from 281 in 2017 to 214 in 2018.
This new rule only applies to athletes 12-14. The CLL said it will consider reducing full-contact practices for other ages as well.