A harbinger of things to come?

79COUG

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95coug

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Very interesting article regarding how some large high schools in Arkansas are doing away with 11 man football in favor of 8 man. Two main reasons... CTE concerns and funding. The days of high school football are numbered. It may take a generation for it to happen but happen it will.

Couldn’t load the article, but I don’t see how that will make a lot of difference. You’ll still have the same size kids, moving at the same speed (or maybe even faster, with a more open field) colliding and resulting in sudden stops. The only significant difference is you only have 5-6 OL/DL banging heads on every play instead of 7-8. But again, same size kids, same speed means the same force.

It seems counterintuitive, but I think it would be more effective to have them play without helmets.
 

79COUG

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Couldn’t load the article, but I don’t see how that will make a lot of difference. You’ll still have the same size kids, moving at the same speed (or maybe even faster, with a more open field) colliding and resulting in sudden stops. The only significant difference is you only have 5-6 OL/DL banging heads on every play instead of 7-8. But again, same size kids, same speed means the same force.

It seems counterintuitive, but I think it would be more effective to have them play without helmets.
I see what you're saying. However the gist of the article is about how the number of parents who want their kids to play ball is rapidly declining. Also, the last few years it was mainly the mom's putting their foot down and now it's more and more the dads. They just aren't having many kids turn out for football... beginning at the peewee level. Rosters that once numbered at 40+ are now lucky to get 20 and that trend will continue.
 

CougEd

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Couldn’t load the article, but I don’t see how that will make a lot of difference. You’ll still have the same size kids, moving at the same speed (or maybe even faster, with a more open field) colliding and resulting in sudden stops. The only significant difference is you only have 5-6 OL/DL banging heads on every play instead of 7-8. But again, same size kids, same speed means the same force.

It seems counterintuitive, but I think it would be more effective to have them play without helmets.
It isn’t about smaller size team, it is about turn out . You could argue that more field, more space, better chance of a nasty head to head collision
 

cr8zyncalif

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I got to mess around playing 8 man for a while. As a game, 8 man is a bit more like Aussie rules football; much more spread out and more of a track meet rather than a rugby scrum. Just a casual look at the typical score in an 8 man game makes the differences pretty clear. I understand 95's thought about more limited helmet protection. But even with the same equipment, you are going to have a lot less head to head contact. Those open field collisions are usually focused on waist level tackling if you want to be sure to bring the runner down. Whether this is more about head injury potential or more about total numbers of players is a potato/potaaato issue; both are involved. A key thing to recognize is that Arkansas is football hotbed country. If it is happening there, it will happen everywhere eventually.
 
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79COUG

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I got to mess around playing 8 man for a while. As a game, 8 man is a bit more like Aussie rules football; much more spread out and more of a track meet rather than a rugby scrum. Just a casual look at the typical score in an 8 man game makes the differences pretty clear. I understand 95's thought about more limited helmet protection. But even with the same equipment, you are going to have a lot less head to head contact. Those open field collisions are usually focused on waist level tackling if you want to be sure to bring the runner down. Whether this is more about head injury potential or more about total numbers of players is a potato/potaaato issue; both are involved. A key thing to recognize is that Arkansas is football hotbed country. If it is happening there, it will happen everywhere eventually.
My daughter was a cheerleader at Odessa and they played 8 man. Watched a ton of games. They hit just as hard as 11 man but the kids were considerably smaller. You play 8 man with the cream of the crop at a big school I would imagine some pretty viscous collisions.
 

etowncoug

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Missing context from this article is participation in youth sports is down, period. Americans aren't having kids. Fewer kids, equals fewer kids to turn out.

My town had 14 aged 10-12 little league teams in the north of the city, plus 16 in the south end. They are currently merged and field 3 teams between the same geographic area. HS tennis used to get 60 kids turning out each fall. Now they struggle to get 30. Of the kids in the community, a bunch are from immigrant families who don't value sports in the same way as native families did a generation before.

Parental expectations have shifted as well. The expectation was that you'll play multiple sports (to keep you out of trouble if nothing else) just 20 or so years ago. Kids would participate regardless of ability. Add in specialization has gobbled up most of the athletes who used to be multi sport.

If you want to save youth sports, we need a few changes:
1) People need to have more kids. This eliminates the ability to pay 10-20k per year, per kid for select sports. More economical options led by volunteers will replace the group of adults who make decent livings coaching youth sports. Also cuts down on need for travel time to find people to play against.
2) Cuts down on the commitment to take on a sport. Playing a HS sport should not be a year round deal. Someone needs to explain to parents that DNA is the biggest determinant of success at the next level. HS sports should be about developing who they are outside of athletics.
3) CTE issues are real but a lot of this is an excuse for the kid to do nothing. E-sports should carry a social stigma, not the other way around.
 
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BiggsCoug

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I got to mess around playing 8 man for a while. As a game, 8 man is a bit more like Aussie rules football; much more spread out and more of a track meet rather than a rugby scrum. Just a casual look at the typical score in an 8 man game makes the differences pretty clear. I understand 95's thought about more limited helmet protection. But even with the same equipment, you are going to have a lot less head to head contact. Those open field collisions are usually focused on waist level tackling if you want to be sure to bring the runner down. Whether this is more about head injury potential or more about total numbers of players is a potato/potaaato issue; both are involved. A key thing to recognize is that Arkansas is football hotbed country. If it is happening there, it will happen everywhere eventually.

When you remove players from the field the space gets much bigger than you think. You can’t miss tackles. The pursuit is not there. It will be 6 points if you don’t wrap up. The focus on legs is something 11 man football should take notes from…
 

BiggsCoug

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Missing context from this article is participation in youth sports is down, period. Americans aren't having kids. Fewer kids, equals fewer kids to turn out.

My town had 14 aged 10-12 little league teams in the north of the city, plus 16 in the south end. They are currently merged and field 3 teams between the same geographic area. HS tennis used to get 60 kids turning out each fall. Now they struggle to get 30. Of the kids in the community, a bunch are from immigrant families who don't value sports in the same way as native families did a generation before.

Parental expectations have shifted as well. The expectation was that you'll play multiple sports (to keep you out of trouble if nothing else) just 20 or so years ago. Kids would participate regardless of ability. Add in specialization has gobbled up most of the athletes who used to be multi sport.

If you want to save youth sports, we need a few changes:
1) People need to have more kids. This eliminates the ability to pay 10-20k per year, per kid for select sports. More economical options led by volunteers will replace the group of adults who make decent livings coaching youth sports. Also cuts down on need for travel time to find people to play against.
2) Cuts down on the commitment to take on a sport. Playing a HS sport should not be a year round deal. Someone needs to explain to parents that DNA is the biggest determinant of success at the next level. HS sports should be about developing who they are outside of athletics.
3) CTE issues are real but a lot of this is an excuse for the kid to do nothing. E-sports should carry a social stigma, not the other way around.

There is one thing that coaches at the youth level and HS need to address as well. Kids have other options. They are competing with other interests kids may have. They do not have the same environment for things to do or time with friends that they used to. The world kids live in now is much different. Fortnite is easier than running wind sprints. Gaming doesn’t have coaches hollering at you. Parents are looking to remove difficult tasks, adversity, accountability from their kids lives.

You are spot on with all your reasons. Add f’ing video games too.
 

Coug90

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Very interesting article regarding how some large high schools in Arkansas are doing away with 11 man football in favor of 8 man. Two main reasons... CTE concerns and funding. The days of high school football are numbered. It may take a generation for it to happen but happen it will.

Naw. Everything is cyclical. Overcorrect one way…overcorrect the other. Politics, monetary policy, sports. It’s a constant in life. Emotion drives things to absurdity then emotion swings it back. We will see gladiators pummeling each other into oblivion again within a generation.
 

79COUG

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Missing context from this article is participation in youth sports is down, period. Americans aren't having kids. Fewer kids, equals fewer kids to turn out.

My town had 14 aged 10-12 little league teams in the north of the city, plus 16 in the south end. They are currently merged and field 3 teams between the same geographic area. HS tennis used to get 60 kids turning out each fall. Now they struggle to get 30. Of the kids in the community, a bunch are from immigrant families who don't value sports in the same way as native families did a generation before.

Parental expectations have shifted as well. The expectation was that you'll play multiple sports (to keep you out of trouble if nothing else) just 20 or so years ago. Kids would participate regardless of ability. Add in specialization has gobbled up most of the athletes who used to be multi sport.

If you want to save youth sports, we need a few changes:
1) People need to have more kids. This eliminates the ability to pay 10-20k per year, per kid for select sports. More economical options led by volunteers will replace the group of adults who make decent livings coaching youth sports. Also cuts down on need for travel time to find people to play against.
2) Cuts down on the commitment to take on a sport. Playing a HS sport should not be a year round deal. Someone needs to explain to parents that DNA is the biggest determinant of success at the next level. HS sports should be about developing who they are outside of athletics.
3) CTE issues are real but a lot of this is an excuse for the kid to do nothing. E-sports should carry a social stigma, not the other way around.
#2 and #3.... spot on!
Naw. Everything is cyclical. Overcorrect one way…overcorrect the other. Politics, monetary policy, sports. It’s a constant in life. Emotion drives things to absurdity then emotion swings it back. We will see gladiators pummeling each other into oblivion again within a generation.
Well then damnit when are they going to start making Jarts again?
I miss the days of random impalements...
 
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95coug

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#2 and #3.... spot on!

Well then damnit when are they going to start making Jarts again?
I miss the days of random impalements...
I miss the days when you could take your 10 year old to work. It’s so much easier for them to crawl around in the mines, and why should I feed them when they’re not bringing home any money?
 
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cr8zyncalif

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I miss the days when you could take your 10 year old to work. It’s so much easier for them to crawl around in the mines, and why should I feed them when they’re not bringing home any money?
Heck, I actually started working at 10 in my dad's body & fender shop. Though I sanded my first car at age 4. Unfortunately, dad had painted it the day before....one of those family lore stories that won't die....
 

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