Torr Time: Brain Injuries Could Be Preventing High School Players From Playing Football


Throughout the past several years, the number of football players that participate in high school football has continued to decrease. Research has shown that the number of high school football players has decreased by 7 percent within the last decade and is projected to continue decreasing. This is the second straight year that participation of 11-on-11 contact football has decreased, by more than 21,000 participants.

According to a study done by the Washington Post, 20,000 fewer high schoolers played football in 2017 compared to 2016. As well as the decrease in players, there are numerous schools throughout the country that have stopped offering football as a sport.

While football remains the top boys participatory sport in the country, other sports are increasing in their participation due to athletes quitting football. There are many debates going around about why there has been a decrease in the number of high school football players in recent years and I personally feel as though it is due to the continuous talk regarding head injuries and the impact that concussions can have. The concern over injuries, more specifically concussions, has been a primary “possible” reason for why players, as well as parents, decide to discontinue playing the sport.

As a former athlete who had to stop playing a contact sport due to suffering numerous concussions, I can understand the thought process parents and even players might have in discontinuing playing sports due to the concern of suffering further brain damage. Football is a high contact sport that involves many high possibilities of having head-to-head contact with an opponent.

There is no conclusive research as to whether head injuries are the prime reason why the number of high school football players has decreased within the past several years. Concussions are something that has caught the attention of people throughout the country and the protocol changes that have happened through the different sports leagues.

There is no definite long term consequences of how concussions will affect someone later down the road, which often leads to athletes not playing a sport anymore after even one brain injury. Spraining an ankle multiple times or even breaking a foot is one thing, but as I’ve been told a time or two…”The brain is not something to mess with. You get one brain.”

There’s no guarantee that brain injuries are the reasoning behind the decrease in the number of high school football players throughout the last several years, but concussion suspicions have began to be a concern throughout the country for many athletes.