Originally Posted by aj1987
From one of the comments:
Injury is more likely to occur in youth flag football than in youth tackle football. Severe injuries and concussions were not significantly different between leagues. Concussion was more likely to occur during games than during practice. Players in the sixth or seventh grade were more likely to suffer a concussion than were younger players.
As that person said, it's not really physically possible to inflict any real damage when the kids are that small.
The problem as described by Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered CTE, is not simply concussions, but really the sub-concussive hits that players experience. That study relies on injuries as the key data point, but injuries aren't the only issue. Here is an excerpt from a discussion with Ann McKee, who is the director of the Boston University CTE Center.
KP: Are kids younger than 14 more at risk for brain injuries than adults?
A.M.: That’s an important question. Kids’ brains are developing. Their heads are a larger part of their body, and their necks are not as strong as adults’ necks. So kids may be at a greater risk of head and brain injuries than adults.
KP: Should those kids play tackle football?
A.M.: No. I would advise kids not to play any sports, such as tackle football, where they are exposed to repeated blows to the head.
KP: Are you a sports fan?
A.M.: Yes, I was a gymnast and played volleyball growing up in Wisconsin. My three children played soccer and lacrosse. I grew up as a Green Bay Packers fan. I am not against sports. We want kids to play sports, but we want them to be safe.