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Author Topic: High School football  (Read 959 times)

MU82

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High School football
« on: September 18, 2018, 09:10:49 AM »
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, 11-player football remained the No. 1 participatory sport for boys in high school by a large margin, with 1,036,842 participants in 2017-18.

There were declines, but not as large as I had expected to see and lower by percentage than previous years. Maybe the sport isn't on death's doorstep, as some contend.

Despite remaining the top participatory sport for boys, 11-player football dropped for the second consecutive year. The decline in numbers, however, was not as high as 2016, and participation in 6-player and 8-player football continued to trend upward. In 2017, participation in 11-player football was 1,036,842, a two-percent decline of 20,565 from the previous year. The decline from 2015 to 2016 was 27,865, or 2.5 percent.

While there have been some recent reports about schools dropping the sport of football for the 2018 season because of declining numbers, the overall number of schools discontinuing 11-player football before the 2017 season was minimal – a decline of 20 schools from 14,099 to 14,079.

With 14,079 schools sponsoring 11-player football nationally, the loss of 20,565 participants amounts to 1.5 per school. And, although the 11-player numbers were down, the number of schools sponsoring 6-player football increased from 259 to 317, and school sponsorship of 8-player football increased from 841 to 847. Overall, the number of high schools sponsoring football (combining 6-, 8-, 9- and 11-player) increased by 29 schools – from 15,457 to 15,486.

The overall number of participants in football (6-, 8-, 9- and 11-player) in 2017 was 1,068,870, which includes 2,401 girls playing the various levels of the sport. The 20,565 decline in 11-player participation was evenly distributed across the country with no states reporting significant drops in football numbers.


Participation in all sports reached an all-time high for the 29th straight year, led by ever more girls participating. "Competitive spirit" -- which I guess is what used to be called cheerleading? --  led the way in growth, followed by boys' soccer and girls' swimming.

Full report here:

http://nfhs.org/articles/high-school-sports-participation-increases-for-29th-consecutive-year/?utm_source=delivra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Sept%2018&utm_id=1041837&dlv-ga-memberid=40496069&utm_term=Sports+Participation+Increase&mid=40496069&ml=1041837
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Sultan of South Wayne

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Re: High School football
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2018, 09:14:42 AM »
Let’s see what the next few years brings. There have been huge decreases in our youth leagues, which will filter up to the high school eventually. Not sure if that is common to other places but I would guess so. Probably not at places with a strong tradition and more people however.
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SaveOD238

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Re: High School football
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2018, 09:44:57 AM »
This hides the fact that high school football by necessity involves more students.  The numbers for football (1.1 mil) are about twice that for basketball (550K) and baseball (490k), but football teams often have rosters in the 80s up to triple digits, especially if the school has a JV and Freshmen teams.  Basketball teams are limited to more like 15 players at each level, so maybe 50 total.  Of course there are going to be more football players than basketball players!

ZiggysFryBoy

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Re: High School football
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2018, 10:01:23 AM »
The youth football league in my town has gone to a padded flag program staring with 4th grade this year, and moving up to 5th and 6th the next two years.  Basically, the kids wear full pads but still pull flags.  Part of their rationale was that numbers are down.

Unfortunately, no other program joined them, so the 2 teams are playing each other for 6 or 8 weeks straight, which is pretty dumb.

We pulled about 10 kids from our town and moved to play full tackle in Madison.  However, there are only 5 4th grade teams in the Dane County league.  Most other programs have a 4th/5th team.

If we had kept our kids in town, we would have had enough for 2 teams, figuring that some kids playing padded flag wouldn't play full tackle and stay in the rec flag league.  Instead, the youth program is divided already, and our full age group won't play together until 7th grade.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out at the high school level.
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Sultan of South Wayne

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Re: High School football
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2018, 10:28:29 AM »
The youth football league in my town has gone to a padded flag program staring with 4th grade this year, and moving up to 5th and 6th the next two years.  Basically, the kids wear full pads but still pull flags.  Part of their rationale was that numbers are down.

Unfortunately, no other program joined them, so the 2 teams are playing each other for 6 or 8 weeks straight, which is pretty dumb.

We pulled about 10 kids from our town and moved to play full tackle in Madison.  However, there are only 5 4th grade teams in the Dane County league.  Most other programs have a 4th/5th team.

If we had kept our kids in town, we would have had enough for 2 teams, figuring that some kids playing padded flag wouldn't play full tackle and stay in the rec flag league.  Instead, the youth program is divided already, and our full age group won't play together until 7th grade.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out at the high school level.


This is very illustrative of the problem.  I think youth football needs a much more consistent approach towards when to introduce pads, tackling, etc.  Instead these programs are trying to gain an edge over one another by thinking that early tackling = better teams in high school (which may or may not be the case), and they may end up just canibalizing one another instead.

So what going to happen is that many of the kids who haven't been exposed to the physicality are going to just play soccer or run cross country instead.  And if that's enough to send the high school program down the sh*tter, then a bad high school program isn't going to get that next bunch of younger kids interested.
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4everwarriors

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Re: High School football
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2018, 10:30:59 AM »
The youth football league in my town has gone to a padded flag program staring with 4th grade this year, and moving up to 5th and 6th the next two years.  Basically, the kids wear full pads but still pull flags.  Part of their rationale was that numbers are down.

Unfortunately, no other program joined them, so the 2 teams are playing each other for 6 or 8 weeks straight, which is pretty dumb.

We pulled about 10 kids from our town and moved to play full tackle in Madison.  However, there are only 5 4th grade teams in the Dane County league.  Most other programs have a 4th/5th team.

If we had kept our kids in town, we would have had enough for 2 teams, figuring that some kids playing padded flag wouldn't play full tackle and stay in the rec flag league.  Instead, the youth program is divided already, and our full age group won't play together until 7th grade.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out at the high school level.



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#UnleashTravis

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Re: High School football
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2018, 10:35:07 AM »
Padded flag just sounds weird

ZiggysFryBoy

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Re: High School football
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2018, 10:51:11 AM »
Padded flag just sounds weird

yup, why not just play flag?  I think they are also going to start using some kind of blocking pad too, so no true contact between the O line and D line.  It's so bizarre I can't even figure it out.

********
yay, why don't dey jest play pull da flag?  I dink dey oar alfo gonna dart usin some kinda blockin pad ding twoo, so the O can't hid the D, aina.
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MU82

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Re: High School football
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2018, 03:00:00 PM »
This hides the fact that high school football by necessity involves more students.  The numbers for football (1.1 mil) are about twice that for basketball (550K) and baseball (490k), but football teams often have rosters in the 80s up to triple digits, especially if the school has a JV and Freshmen teams.  Basketball teams are limited to more like 15 players at each level, so maybe 50 total.  Of course there are going to be more football players than basketball players!

Not if lots and lots and lots of schools drop football because it is too dangerous, too expensive, too whatever. But only 20 out of 14,000-plus schools did drop football from 2016-17 to 2017-18. That's 0.1%.

As others have said, and I agree, it's really too early to know what's going to happen over the next, say, two decades. I appreciate some Scoopers providing anecdotal evidence of a drop-off at the youth level. If that's a nationwide trend, it certainly would have to eventually affect HS football.



We are citizens of the world's greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We weaken our greatness ... when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down.

ZiggysFryBoy

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Re: High School football
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2018, 03:25:31 PM »
8 man football is fun and a good option for even non-tiny schools that have enough players but don't have enough talent to compete.  Think SW WI or Northern WI with the D-5(?) teams.

A lot of South Dakota (only state I have direct knowledge of) plays 8 man. 
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manny31

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Re: High School football
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2018, 09:06:22 AM »
Let’s see what the next few years brings. There have been huge decreases in our youth leagues, which will filter up to the high school eventually. Not sure if that is common to other places but I would guess so. Probably not at places with a strong tradition and more people however.

This.....anecdotal evidence but I have seen the same thing, when my oldest played in the house league there were 8 teams at the 7/8th grade level. When my second oldest guy played 3 years later there were 4. Our high school, strong tradition in IL, hasn't seen a big drop off but there has to be some effect. Lately the high school football coach has engaged in his own form of marketing by inviting the 7&8th graders in to watch the Varsity pregame. It's funny because he is a very stereotypical football coach, his is trying though.

Benny B

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Re: High School football
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2018, 10:01:12 AM »
I overheard another parent in my daughter's class lament about how there's almost more cheerleaders than football players in the village's/township's foosball club.
Wow, I'm very concerned for Benny.  Being able to mimic Myron Medcalf's writing so closely implies an oncoming case of dementia.

barfolomew

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Re: High School football
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2018, 04:25:11 PM »

Hadda reed dis 4 times ta make sum cents outta watt F*ckin's tryin' ta 'splain, aina?


Drunk on hope

D'Lo Brown

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Re: High School football
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2018, 09:54:19 PM »
Let’s see what the next few years brings. There have been huge decreases in our youth leagues, which will filter up to the high school eventually. Not sure if that is common to other places but I would guess so. Probably not at places with a strong tradition and more people however.

I mostly disagree. There have definitely been regional decreases, but in most places where football is an important piece of the social fabric, turnout really hasn't changed a ton. Kids are always (at least in our lifetimes) going to want to play football in Wisconsin, Alabama, Florida, Texas, etc, because it is a part of the state's identity.

That said, the specific part I wanted to disagree on is that youth league participation can go down and not actually impact high school participation. There are innumerable reasons why a child would not play youth football but would play in high school. There are significantly more barriers to a child playing youth football than there are to playing in high school; meanwhile, there are far more potential benefits to playing in high school (social status, weightlifting, helping get into college, etc).

Many high school football players never played any youth football, and I think that trend will continue to grow.

#UnleashTravis

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Re: High School football
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2018, 08:06:02 AM »
This is bizarre to me to here about cities with very little amounts of teams. When I played we had a county level league in RYS.

There must have been 60 teams per divison/weight level. I also believe they had a great system in place to limit injuries (this was before the whole concussion things) they took weight and age into account so a monster 6'2 11 year old would play up a couple age levels and not pound on people who weighed 90 pounds

Maybe it's because it was county level and pulled from a ton of towns. But it always seemed healthy to me.

Coleman

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Re: High School football
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2018, 10:22:50 AM »
The youth football league in my town has gone to a padded flag program staring with 4th grade this year, and moving up to 5th and 6th the next two years.  Basically, the kids wear full pads but still pull flags.  Part of their rationale was that numbers are down.

Unfortunately, no other program joined them, so the 2 teams are playing each other for 6 or 8 weeks straight, which is pretty dumb.

We pulled about 10 kids from our town and moved to play full tackle in Madison.  However, there are only 5 4th grade teams in the Dane County league.  Most other programs have a 4th/5th team.

If we had kept our kids in town, we would have had enough for 2 teams, figuring that some kids playing padded flag wouldn't play full tackle and stay in the rec flag league.  Instead, the youth program is divided already, and our full age group won't play together until 7th grade.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out at the high school level.

I am picturing kids in full pads playing flag football and its quite hilarious.

Coleman

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Re: High School football
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2018, 10:25:58 AM »
8 man is definitely becoming a thing in Wisconsin. I played football for small high school in Wisconsin (about 200 students) and while my school still maintains a 11 man team in Division 7, quite a few of the teams we played have switched over to 8 man. It is fully sponsored by the WIAA and there is a state tournament and everything. 

It is not a terrible idea. Back in the day we had maybe 20-25 people, as did most of the schools, and lots of kids had to play both ways. By the end of the season with injuries, things got tough. 8 man definitely makes things a bit easier.

dgies9156

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Re: High School football
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2018, 12:35:53 PM »
I would agree that football is still strong and that children still want to play it. There is a strong interest in the game, still. The problem with high school football is the size differential among the youth that play it.

I tend to think that for children below high school age, the injury risk is over-blown. Our son played youth league football from third grade onward and played freshman football at our local high school. His injuries were fewer and less severe than my daughter, who played competitive girls soccer. High schcool is

The problem generally begins in high school football, where the difference in size and weight can be severe.

My bigger concern with high school football, and all high school sports for that matter, is the amount of resources poured into it by school districts whose first job is to educate minds. The massive expenditures on sports facilities, coaching, equipment and training take away from the primary educational job of schools. How many school districts in this country screamed that President Bush's No Child Left Behind was an unfunded mandate when they were spending millions and millions on athletics and related activity?

In our local Chicago area community, we have a brand spanking new $30 million Olympic-sized swimming pool. Our sister in-district high school now wants a $22 million dance hall. And, because the pool took out parking spaces, we have to build a parking garage. Yikes

Pakuni

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Re: High School football
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2018, 12:50:27 PM »
I would agree that football is still strong and that children still want to play it. There is a strong interest in the game, still. The problem with high school football is the size differential among the youth that play it.

I tend to think that for children below high school age, the injury risk is over-blown.

The problem with kids playing football young isn't the acute injuries, it's the cumulative blows, the damage from which shows up later in life.
Studies have shown that kids who begin playing tackle football below the age of 12 are twice as likely to suffer cognitive and behavioral problems later in life than kids who began playing after 12. That's because the ages 10 to 12 are a crucial time for brain development.


D'Lo Brown

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Re: High School football
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2018, 06:32:13 PM »
I would agree that football is still strong and that children still want to play it. There is a strong interest in the game, still. The problem with high school football is the size differential among the youth that play it.

I tend to think that for children below high school age, the injury risk is over-blown. Our son played youth league football from third grade onward and played freshman football at our local high school. His injuries were fewer and less severe than my daughter, who played competitive girls soccer. High schcool is

The problem generally begins in high school football, where the difference in size and weight can be severe.

My bigger concern with high school football, and all high school sports for that matter, is the amount of resources poured into it by school districts whose first job is to educate minds. The massive expenditures on sports facilities, coaching, equipment and training take away from the primary educational job of schools. How many school districts in this country screamed that President Bush's No Child Left Behind was an unfunded mandate when they were spending millions and millions on athletics and related activity?

In our local Chicago area community, we have a brand spanking new $30 million Olympic-sized swimming pool. Our sister in-district high school now wants a $22 million dance hall. And, because the pool took out parking spaces, we have to build a parking garage. Yikes

Children have much weaker necks, so they are at considerably higher risk for the mechanism of a concussion, especially in helmet-to-helmet tackles. So even though there normally isn't enough force involved to do damage when they're young, there can be.

We are also talking about the accumulation of things like sub-concussive events, things that you as a parent in the stands would never realize happened in the moment. The accumulation of many years of these things, especially in players that aren't taught and enforced proper technique (heads up tackling) can be significant.

That said, the youth game is significantly more harmless than most believe. If the kids are taught the game correctly, play to have fun instead of to become barbarian warriors, etc, it's pretty low risk. But there can be enough bad apples to ruin it for everyone else.

As a youth coach I definitely see it from all angles, I have no problem with parents keeping their children out of the game until they're older. The only thing I am firmly against is the concept of forcing a child to play football to "toughen them up", against the child's will. That is torture for a young kid and can have all kinds of consequences. Have had to have a few heated discussions with "tough guy" fathers over the years, trying to toughen up their undersized children who have no interest in the game. Those are the kids at the greatest risk for some of the bad injuries.

Benny B

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Re: High School football
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2018, 07:12:29 PM »
“Youth Football!!!  Concussions!!!  CTE!!!  Murder-Suicides!!!  You too can be just like Junior Seau & Aaron Hernandez!!!”

With marketing pull like that - not to mention with all the rednecks that keep breeding in record numbers - any overall participatory declines will be temporary at best.
Wow, I'm very concerned for Benny.  Being able to mimic Myron Medcalf's writing so closely implies an oncoming case of dementia.

D'Lo Brown

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Re: High School football
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2018, 03:11:23 AM »
“Youth Football!!!  Concussions!!!  CTE!!!  Murder-Suicides!!!  You too can be just like Junior Seau & Aaron Hernandez!!!”

With marketing pull like that - not to mention with all the rednecks that keep breeding in record numbers - any overall participatory declines will be temporary at best.



With elderly like this... fill in the blank.