At the high school in Keystone Oaks, students prepare for the fall sports ahead. But do they know of the dangers?
The bright lights turn on at the stadium and the crowd gathers around the field to watch their classmates. However, neither the students nor the players might be aware of the risks.
When asked if they properly inform student/athletes about the risks of playing football, Billy Dilla, a junior in high school, replied, “Yes, it’s a PIAA requirement.”
PIAA stands for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, and is an organization first created to “eliminate abuses, establish uniform rules, and place interscholastic athletes in the overall context of secondary education,” according to the website.
During the game, players on the field have pads and guards. When asked if they work, Dilla replied, “The equipment has its best ability to protect us.”
Senior soccer player Alex Grattan had a different perspective on equipment.
“Unlike football, we don’t really wear anything.”
In soccer, players are only equipped with a few pads and shin guards. They also noted that if they were injured (football and soccer), it most likely couldn’t have been prevented.
When asked if all of these injuries should be “a part of the game,” football player Michael Daure replied that “they change the rules a lot.”
When doing research on some of the rules, most new rules that were posted dealt with helmet safety. In the 2018 NFHS Football Rules Interpretations, Page 29, 3.5.10 SITUATION H, “All available attachments must be secured and all helmets must be secured with a four-attachments points system.”
In soccer, they care about the head as much as football players should. Alaina Veason, a senior, said that when hitting a soccer ball with your head, it has to be with a certain part of your head.
“They do lots of training in order to get it at the right spot.”
With so many dangers to the head, CTE could be a future problem if they continue.
CTE stands for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and is a serious disease that affects the brain, causing the player to be aggressive, depressed, and even have paranoia. This disease is caused by injuries to the head over time.
Other injuries include spinal injuries. Recently, a football player, Hayden Hamilton, had a spinal injury occur after a “play gone wrong.”
As the future of football, soccer, and other sports continue, we can only hope that the awareness of these injuries continue, and more rules and regulations keep are players and classmates safe.