Jewish Journal

Youth Football and the big dilemma

by Julia Bendis

October 10, 2011 | 6:32 pm

At a flag football game for my 1st grader, I couldn’t help but enjoy my son’s aggressiveness.  I know how wrong that sounds, however after trying soccer, baseball, basketball and tennis I’m happy to see that he finally at the old age of six, found his sport! Besides, its only flag football and tackling is not allowed.  Although that doesn’t seem to stop my child from jumping on other players.  He sleeps, eats and lives for football, and was very angry that he isn’t allowed to play tackle or as he calls it “regular” football.

My fake phone calls to the officials at “regular” football league insisting that they allow this six-year-old to play went unanswered, which was not good enough for my kid.  He begged that I physically go to their offices and demand that they let him play, since he is READY!
Having no problem with lying, I went ahead and told him that after much consideration the football officials decided he needs to wait a couple years before getting slammed and pummeled onto.  My son’s response?  “Nobody will slam me down, I’m too quick and awesome for that to happen!”

Seeing that this issue won’t be going away any time soon, I’m secretly hoping that he will pick another sport in the near future.  Before I ever had kids I always said that I’d never let mine play a savage game like football, but now I don’t see much of a choice.  This brings me to another issue.  How do Mothers allow, and seem to be fine with their young children being shoved, and slammed into while playing football or lacrosse or any other violent sport?  Am I the only parent that thinks its completely wrong to allow your ten-year-old to be physically hurt?

Where are the rules and guidelines about starting boys too young in violent sports?  Shouldn’t there be some kind of a mandatory law that says you can’t play before the age of fifteen, or at least til your child has facial and body hair?

America is the only country in the world that has the most boys between the ages of 10 and 18 with head traumas and concussions!  I truly hope my son changes his mind about playing football, I’d hate to be the only Mother in Orange County to ban my kid from playing tackle football…

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I was born in Ukraine, in the former USSR, and grew up in Riga, Latvia which is on the Baltic Sea.  My family and I immigrated to the United States in 1989, right before the...

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