Friday, November 11, 2005

Is Youth Football Dangerous In Paso Robles?

Guest blogpost from Steve Boggan, Paso Robles.

Youth Football is becoming a dangerous activity on the Central Coast.

Everyone knows that football is a rough sport. But even football has rules to keep players from being hurt. For example, it is illegal to block a player in the back, or tackle him by grabbing his facemask. Serious injury can occur unless players respect one another's safety, and the rules are enforced by the officials.

But this season, having observed many youth football games in the area, I am noticing some dangerous trends. I see some coaches on a win-at-any-cost ego trip, allowing, and in some cases encouraging their players to do whatever is necessary to beat the other team.

I see some referees who are incompetent and untrained to look for and penalize illegal blocks. I see league officials who are arrogant and unresponsive to concerns. This has created a dangerous atmosphere for kids to try to play a good, safe, clean game of football.

It is also teaching them that good sportsmanship doesn't pay off.

I believe we need to reevaluate what football is all about; rough-and-tumble, yes, but also, with sportsmanship, respect for other players, and fairness. Kids need to learn that there is honor in winning only when it is done fairly, and with basic human concern for the safety of others.

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