New policies reduce collisions in practice
When the Pop Warner program announced in June that it would limit head-to-head contact in practices, local high schools took notice.
Coaches at Dover-Sherborn and Marshfield high schools also said they will curb contact during practices.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association said revising practice regimens appears to be a trend among its member high schools, which are paying attention to similar changes at the professional and collegiate levels.
“Instead of more head-on activity, you can have them angled,” said Joey Schotland, Dover-Sherborn’s head football coach.
Robert Cantu, codirector of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, recommends no tackling in either practice or games for players under age 14; younger children are better off sticking to flag football, he says.
He also recommends no head balls in soccer until age 14.