As Ramsey County's ice rinks age, huge costs emerge

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dlow
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As Ramsey County's ice rinks age, huge costs emerge

Post by dlow » Fri Oct 30, 2015 3:01 pm

Pioneer Press on refrigerant change over problem at Ramsey County Rinks:

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_ ... ice-arenas

Looks like West Side will be the next to fall...

Shame more effort hasn't been put into recruiting minority kids...

zambonidriver
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Post by zambonidriver » Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:05 am

As a teacher at Harding and the last Hockey coach 2006. Here is what has happened.
1. Immigration St. Paul is now mainly Hmong and Latino 1st and second generation like most 1st and 2nd generation families work comes first play second.
2. Money St. Paul does not have rinks at every rec center anymore. On the East Side only Phalen and Conway have rinks. If not for parents in Highland I believe Groveland and Edgecumbe would be the same way.
3. Liability, When hockey was growing State wide you could show up at the rink with a stick and a pair of skates and play now for any pickup game anywhere you have to be fully equipped. That also holds true for a lot of home rinks.
4. Affordability, it used to be the most expensive piece of equipment was a pair of skates. Now sticks cost as much as skates do where in the 60's and 70's kids who couldn't afford skates still had hockey sticks and could play street hockey and learn the game that way play video games and do other things. A soccer ball and a tennis racquet cost a lot less then hockey equipment. If you look at the numbers Racquet sports and soccer numbers are high in St. Paul while traditional sports are on the decline. At harding we have 100 kids out for tennis and Badmitten but 40 out for football we haven't had a hockey team in ten years.

cigar
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Post by cigar » Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:21 pm

"Shame more effort hasn't been put into recruiting minority kids..."

shame? why...

may be it is a shame more minority kids are not choosing to play....

may be it is a shame more effort isn't put into recruiting ANY kids..

but it would be a shame to put an emphasis on one group of kids to recruit over any other group. that would be called racism....

so screw the PC BS and treat them all equal...

The Exiled One
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Post by The Exiled One » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:36 pm

cigar wrote:"Shame more effort hasn't been put into recruiting minority kids..."

shame? why...

may be it is a shame more minority kids are not choosing to play....

may be it is a shame more effort isn't put into recruiting ANY kids..

but it would be a shame to put an emphasis on one group of kids to recruit over any other group. that would be called racism....

so screw the PC BS and treat them all equal...
I wouldn't have put it so bluntly, but I agree with you in general. As an association board member, I've busted my butt to recruit EVERY kid in my footprint to play hockey. I've steared them towards cheap or free gear, grants, fundraisers, and everything else I could think of to get them on the ice as cheaply as possible. I would love nothing more than to have a huge group of kids on the ice who are here because their parents got into the US on an h1b visa. I don't even care if they can speak English. We'll teach them how to skate on way or another. I don't like to hear that I'm not trying to reach these kids. As much as I can, I am trying.

Here's the deal... athletic participation is dropping across the board, but it's hitting hockey just a bit harder. I don't know if there's a way to fix it in general... probably not. The best we can do is figure out a way to boost it locally. Frankly, I think we're going to have to steal kids from other sports.

jg2112
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Post by jg2112 » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:23 pm

The Exiled One wrote:
cigar wrote:"Shame more effort hasn't been put into recruiting minority kids..."

shame? why...

may be it is a shame more minority kids are not choosing to play....

may be it is a shame more effort isn't put into recruiting ANY kids..

but it would be a shame to put an emphasis on one group of kids to recruit over any other group. that would be called racism....

so screw the PC BS and treat them all equal...
I wouldn't have put it so bluntly, but I agree with you in general. As an association board member, I've busted my butt to recruit EVERY kid in my footprint to play hockey. I've steared them towards cheap or free gear, grants, fundraisers, and everything else I could think of to get them on the ice as cheaply as possible. I would love nothing more than to have a huge group of kids on the ice who are here because their parents got into the US on an h1b visa. I don't even care if they can speak English. We'll teach them how to skate on way or another. I don't like to hear that I'm not trying to reach these kids. As much as I can, I am trying.

Here's the deal... athletic participation is dropping across the board, but it's hitting hockey just a bit harder. I don't know if there's a way to fix it in general... probably not. The best we can do is figure out a way to boost it locally. Frankly, I think we're going to have to steal kids from other sports.
The best way I can think for an association to increase its numbers, especially with folks concerned with barriers to entry of cost and time commitment (no matter the background), is to use their local outdoor rinks, which cost no more than $15-$30 per hour to rent in my area, to set up a short rec league season for kids to try out the sport. Provide shinny equipment, play rec league on, say, Wednesday nights. Allow kids an 8 week season for $30 or so with skate rental, and show them why the sport is so great.

Maybe a 30 minute "coaching session" before each game session, and then let them play for an hour.

To me, that's a great way to try and get kids hooked, especially in the Squirt / PeeWee ages. I think the instance is very rare (I know it exists but it's rare) where a kid has no idea how to play hockey and then his parents plunk down $1,000 to play travel hockey for an association. Maybe a middle ground, like the MN Hockey Rec League, needs to be adopted by more associations.

dlow
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Post by dlow » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:53 pm

cigar wrote:"Shame more effort hasn't been put into recruiting minority kids..."

shame? why...

may be it is a shame more minority kids are not choosing to play....

may be it is a shame more effort isn't put into recruiting ANY kids..

but it would be a shame to put an emphasis on one group of kids to recruit over any other group. that would be called racism....

so screw the PC BS and treat them all equal...
This board is full of idiotic comments and here is a good example. Interesting you are calling out pc but then are trying to be the offended victim, the old reverse racism card hun? You are the one demanding pc talk dude. Lets just avoid these difficult topics, right?

If you've stepped inside saint paul in the last 20 years you would see the demographics have changed. We all know its easier to get kids on the ice when they have family or neighbors that have played before, so yes it does take a special effort to get kids in the door from the newer families in both of our big cities. Johnson Como and North Saint Paul are all one Association now. Those associations and those other ones now gone from Saint Paul (West Side, Harding, Central, etc., etc.) took your approach with these new families-- 'were not going to do anything different, they should come to us, not vice versa' How has that gone?

And if you've read the papers you may have heard the USA will be majority minority by about 2045, so I guess we should continue to go the way of letting hockey die down and out in areas with demographic change; Fridley, Roseville, North Saint Paul, Columbia Heights and the next rings of suburbs over the next 10-20 years.

Dude, try this exercise: substitute the phrase 'not hockey exposed' for minority. How did that go. Are you feeling safe again?

dlow
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:08 pm

Post by dlow » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:56 pm

jg2112 wrote:
The Exiled One wrote:
cigar wrote:"Shame more effort hasn't been put into recruiting minority kids..."

shame? why...

may be it is a shame more minority kids are not choosing to play....

may be it is a shame more effort isn't put into recruiting ANY kids..

but it would be a shame to put an emphasis on one group of kids to recruit over any other group. that would be called racism....

so screw the PC BS and treat them all equal...
I wouldn't have put it so bluntly, but I agree with you in general. As an association board member, I've busted my butt to recruit EVERY kid in my footprint to play hockey. I've steared them towards cheap or free gear, grants, fundraisers, and everything else I could think of to get them on the ice as cheaply as possible. I would love nothing more than to have a huge group of kids on the ice who are here because their parents got into the US on an h1b visa. I don't even care if they can speak English. We'll teach them how to skate on way or another. I don't like to hear that I'm not trying to reach these kids. As much as I can, I am trying.

Here's the deal... athletic participation is dropping across the board, but it's hitting hockey just a bit harder. I don't know if there's a way to fix it in general... probably not. The best we can do is figure out a way to boost it locally. Frankly, I think we're going to have to steal kids from other sports.
The best way I can think for an association to increase its numbers, especially with folks concerned with barriers to entry of cost and time commitment (no matter the background), is to use their local outdoor rinks, which cost no more than $15-$30 per hour to rent in my area, to set up a short rec league season for kids to try out the sport. Provide shinny equipment, play rec league on, say, Wednesday nights. Allow kids an 8 week season for $30 or so with skate rental, and show them why the sport is so great.

Maybe a 30 minute "coaching session" before each game session, and then let them play for an hour.

To me, that's a great way to try and get kids hooked, especially in the Squirt / PeeWee ages. I think the instance is very rare (I know it exists but it's rare) where a kid has no idea how to play hockey and then his parents plunk down $1,000 to play travel hockey for an association. Maybe a middle ground, like the MN Hockey Rec League, needs to be adopted by more associations.
Great idea.

observer
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Post by observer » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:22 am

Transportation for traveling hockey as well as other traveling sports can be a problem. Especially as the kids get older and the travel demands increase.

The Exiled One
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Post by The Exiled One » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:09 am

jg2112 wrote:The best way I can think for an association to increase its numbers, especially with folks concerned with barriers to entry of cost and time commitment (no matter the background), is to use their local outdoor rinks, which cost no more than $15-$30 per hour to rent in my area, to set up a short rec league season for kids to try out the sport. Provide shinny equipment, play rec league on, say, Wednesday nights. Allow kids an 8 week season for $30 or so with skate rental, and show them why the sport is so great.

Maybe a 30 minute "coaching session" before each game session, and then let them play for an hour.

To me, that's a great way to try and get kids hooked, especially in the Squirt / PeeWee ages. I think the instance is very rare (I know it exists but it's rare) where a kid has no idea how to play hockey and then his parents plunk down $1,000 to play travel hockey for an association. Maybe a middle ground, like the MN Hockey Rec League, needs to be adopted by more associations.
http://www.herbbrooksfoundation.com/pag ... at-program

Section 8 guy
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Post by Section 8 guy » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:47 pm

The Exiled One wrote:Here's the deal... athletic participation is dropping across the board, but it's hitting hockey just a bit harder. I don't know if there's a way to fix it in general... probably not. The best we can do is figure out a way to boost it locally. Frankly, I think we're going to have to steal kids from other sports.
I could be wrong......but I believe hockey is rare among sports in Minnesota in that participation is actually increasing while participation in nearly every other sport is declining, with football declines being at fairly alarming levels.

goldy313
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Post by goldy313 » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:13 am

I hate the demographics excuse.

I was at my nephews wtestling tournament last year and the high school team from LeSeuer had a bunch of hispanic kids on the team, many first or second year wrestlers. I was talking to a coach and complimented him on getting so many kid out,, his response was one coaches and boards in every sport should take heed too. He said essentially this......these are the kids in my school, if I don't get them to wrestle then we will no longer have a wrestling program.......too often we are stuck in stereotypes and not in getting kids different opportunities, nobody told the Germans in New Ulm Germans don't play hockey, or the farm families in Luverne rural kids in the corn belt don't play hockey. Somebody through a lot of effort started programs there, many lean years have led to stable programs. It takes work.

Nevertoomuchhockey
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Post by Nevertoomuchhockey » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:42 pm

This topic seems to have evolved into a "why aren't there more/how do we get more" hockey participation discussion. Lots of valid points here, but do you guys think that the injury (especially concussion) factor is in play? I read an article in the metro news today that a group of doctors are encouraging high schools to drop their football programs due to what the research is now showing in regards to impact injuries and the potential legacy of about a thousand other health issues (especially in the years the brain is most developing.) Anyone else see this? I read it online between games and can't find it now.

Nevertoomuchhockey
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Post by Nevertoomuchhockey » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:11 pm

http://m.startribune.com/minnesota-doct ... ection=%2F

Found it. I think I'm going to start a similar topic on the high school side as well. Thoughts?

SCBlueLiner
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Post by SCBlueLiner » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:01 am

Article is nanny-state b.s. stuff. A couple of UM researchers write a paper and the Strib presents it as the American Medical Association has come out recommending football be abolished. Maybe I should write a paper on the concussion dangers of soccer (which is statistically true) and the Strib can give that some good ink.

The sport of football has weathered this kind of publicity before, in the late 1800's there was calls to abolish it. Nothing really new here and the game is more popular than ever.

Having played the game myself, there are so many positive things you learn about life, leadership, teamwork, and comraderie. The positives outway the negatives, IMO. And no, those life lessons are hard to replicate with other sports including hockey, which was one of the many other sports I played. Something about football's tough and physical nature. The way it is designed, how it takes 11 guys doing their assigned responsibility, working together to move a ball down the field, to gain territory. It's just very military-like in its construct which makes it different from all other sports where individual creativity and abstract playmaking ability are rewarded. It's the ultimate team game.

Jeffy95
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Post by Jeffy95 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:14 am

SCBlueLiner wrote:Article is nanny-state b.s. stuff. A couple of UM researchers write a paper and the Strib presents it as the American Medical Association has come out recommending football be abolished. Maybe I should write a paper on the concussion dangers of soccer (which is statistically true) and the Strib can give that some good ink.

The sport of football has weathered this kind of publicity before, in the late 1800's there was calls to abolish it. Nothing really new here and the game is more popular than ever.

Having played the game myself, there are so many positive things you learn about life, leadership, teamwork, and comraderie. The positives outway the negatives, IMO. And no, those life lessons are hard to replicate with other sports including hockey, which was one of the many other sports I played. Something about football's tough and physical nature. The way it is designed, how it takes 11 guys doing their assigned responsibility, working together to move a ball down the field, to gain territory. It's just very military-like in its construct which makes it different from all other sports where individual creativity and abstract playmaking ability are rewarded. It's the ultimate team game.
I agree with you but I don't think it matters. Participation is dropping and as soon as a school gets sued and loses it's all over.

jg2112
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Post by jg2112 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:14 am

SCBlueLiner wrote:Article is nanny-state b.s. stuff. A couple of UM researchers write a paper and the Strib presents it as the American Medical Association has come out recommending football be abolished. Maybe I should write a paper on the concussion dangers of soccer (which is statistically true) and the Strib can give that some good ink.

The sport of football has weathered this kind of publicity before, in the late 1800's there was calls to abolish it. Nothing really new here and the game is more popular than ever.

Having played the game myself, there are so many positive things you learn about life, leadership, teamwork, and comraderie. The positives outway the negatives, IMO. And no, those life lessons are hard to replicate with other sports including hockey, which was one of the many other sports I played. Something about football's tough and physical nature. The way it is designed, how it takes 11 guys doing their assigned responsibility, working together to move a ball down the field, to gain territory. It's just very military-like in its construct which makes it different from all other sports where individual creativity and abstract playmaking ability are rewarded. It's the ultimate team game.
Taking the bolded sections in order:

1) Saying "the game is more popular than ever" doesn't mean anything. That's the red herring football folks throw at the people using rationality to see football for what it is - a sport that abuses its participants and leaves them physically destroyed simply by taking part in that sport.

There is a huge distance to traverse between "hey, look at the NFL ratings" and "look at how youth football participation is falling off at alarming rates," and it's this: watching football on TV for free.

The reason NFL and college football is "more popular than ever" is because it is the only sport that airs multiple games (including, importantly, the local team) on free local TV each week.

2) To me, football is boring because of its military construct. The NFL in particular. Avoidance of risk, adherence to systems, criticism of QBs that don't "manage the game."

That's why hockey is a superior sport. It requires its participants to read and react, not adhere to the coach's orders (no matter how much the parent coach wants to believe otherwise).

SCBlueLiner
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Post by SCBlueLiner » Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:50 am

I wasn't commenting on whether one sport was superior to another. I was simply pointing out there is no other sport like football. It is very much like the military in that you follow orders. That was the point I was trying to make. I am sure there aren't too many DI's at Basic who take kindly to recruits going off and doing their own thing. At some military levels adapting and overcoming (creative solutions) are fostered, but at its most basic level the military is about command, control, and following orders. Discipline, honor, code. Terms used around football more than any other sport.

SCBlueLiner
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Post by SCBlueLiner » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:03 pm

Jeffy95 wrote: I agree with you but I don't think it matters. Participation is dropping and as soon as a school gets sued and loses it's all over.
I won't argue with you there but will make an observation, running sports through high schools is the only thing keeping them in check. Look at every club/AAU sport that operates outside the confines of the high school system. Some really crazy stuff happens. At least with the high schools in control things are kept in check. There is order. There are also academic requirements and consequences for not meeting those requirements.

You think some AAU basketball coach really cares whether his star player gets good grades? I'd imagine not. Only to the extent the kid can get into college. Consider a sport like hockey going non-affiliated, what am I saying, it already happens in most of the rest of the country. What are the grade requirements to stay eligible to play Tier 1 AAA Midget hockey? Oh there are none you say.

If high schools are legally forced to drop sports due to a lawsuit it is safe to assume colleges won't be far behind, since they are taking on the same risks. So you would have AAU/Tier 1 coaches who don't care about grades. The college structure is gone, presumably replaced by junior hockey, who could care less about Billy's math grade. The entire structure would fail, in the end. That's not a good thing for our kids, and I doubt we see it happen.

Back to subject. The investment needs to be made in these facilities just like there was the initial investment to get them built in the first place. It's up to this generation to pick up and maintain/improve upon what was handed to us.

jg2112
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Post by jg2112 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:41 pm

SCBlueLiner wrote:I wasn't commenting on whether one sport was superior to another. I was simply pointing out there is no other sport like football. It is very much like the military in that you follow orders. That was the point I was trying to make. I am sure there aren't too many DI's at Basic who take kindly to recruits going off and doing their own thing. At some military levels adapting and overcoming (creative solutions) are fostered, but at its most basic level the military is about command, control, and following orders. Discipline, honor, code. Terms used around football more than any other sport.
I agree with all that.

JSR
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Post by JSR » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:01 pm

SCBlueLiner wrote:Article is nanny-state b.s. stuff. A couple of UM researchers write a paper and the Strib presents it as the American Medical Association has come out recommending football be abolished. Maybe I should write a paper on the concussion dangers of soccer (which is statistically true) and the Strib can give that some good ink.

The sport of football has weathered this kind of publicity before, in the late 1800's there was calls to abolish it. Nothing really new here and the game is more popular than ever.

Having played the game myself, there are so many positive things you learn about life, leadership, teamwork, and comraderie. The positives outway the negatives, IMO. And no, those life lessons are hard to replicate with other sports including hockey, which was one of the many other sports I played. Something about football's tough and physical nature. The way it is designed, how it takes 11 guys doing their assigned responsibility, working together to move a ball down the field, to gain territory. It's just very military-like in its construct which makes it different from all other sports where individual creativity and abstract playmaking ability are rewarded. It's the ultimate team game.
I still think hockey is the ultimate team game. Football requires little refined skill, is 90% based on athleticism, size and strength (except QB), and requires little in the moment thinking. The fact you get to reset after every play and try and figure it all out. Eh... I also think the 'life lessons" are every bit as learned in other sports. I played football too, and the life lessons are really more on the coach teaching them than the sport so they can be learned in most sports. I think hockey is still the ultimate team sport above all others though. Everyone on the ice working together both offensively AND defensively every shift for the common purpose of trying to score and needing to think in the moment collectively.. Sorry just disagreeing is all.. I do like your military analogy though, that is spot on.

Froggy Richards
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Post by Froggy Richards » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:46 am

SCBlueLiner wrote:The sport of football has weathered this kind of publicity before, in the late 1800's there was calls to abolish it. Nothing really new here and the game is more popular than ever.
Of course it's popular. It's a very entertaining game and people love it. If you or your kids aren't the ones out there getting your brains scrambled, it's a fantastic game to watch.

I imagine the Romans said the same thing when pressure started to mount to stop the Lions from eating the Gladiators.

"Well yes, we did lose six last week Mr. Caesar, but the Coliseum is sold out for the next two years, so I can't imagine what the problem would be?"

goldy313
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Post by goldy313 » Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:28 am

SCBlueLiner wrote:Article is nanny-state b.s. stuff. A couple of UM researchers write a paper and the Strib presents it as the American Medical Association has come out recommending football be abolished. Maybe I should write a paper on the concussion dangers of soccer (which is statistically true) and the Strib can give that some good ink.
No, not nanny state bs, these are kids.
I was at a medical conference a few years ago in Columbus Ohio, hosted by Ohio State, concussion diagnosis, trearment, and prevention were major topics. The data collection takes time but data is mounting pretty fast that concussions at a young age can be not only short term but long term issues. All of this base line testing kids under go is being collected, signs, symptoms, and recovery time are being evaluated, follow ups are being conducted years out.

I had 3 disgnosed in college in the mid 80's, 1 later in life. I'm enrolled in a study being done where MRI scans are done and compared to other people who have never had a concussion, I do puzzle and memory tests as well. I'm deteriorating at a faster rate than people who haven't had concussions. Whether my specific case is due to concussions or not isn't appearant but does go into data collection.

So far all the law suits against football have been thrown out or had a decision that was favorable to football. The same happened for the tabacco companies until 1 judgement started a tide against them. That's an example of data taking time to be collected and analyzed that changed the thinking in medical and legal settings. It's only a mattet of time until a judgement comes down against football. The money for brain injuries is huge.

At that conference I mentioned earlier one of the presenters said football would be nearly gone in 2 generations, due to lack of youth/school programs ending as no one wants the liability. At the time I thought that was silly, I no longer do, I don't know if football will last 40 years, maybe not even 25. I played, my kids played, I hope my grandkids never do as the risk isn't worth it. I've officiated high school football for in the neighborhood of 20 years and I'm really struggling with what is happening to the game, the powets that be are trying to regain control of it but I think it's too little too late. Numbers are dropping and the solution at too many places is to fill rosters with younger and younger kids, which just exasperates the problem.

SCBlueLiner
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Post by SCBlueLiner » Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:58 am

Did you suffer your 4 concussions playing football? Just curious because you probably already know what my response will be.

There are risks in life. There are risks in our kid's lives. It doesn't mean we bubble wrap them and protect them everything. You will counter that a sport like football is us knowingly putting them in harms way. I will respond by saying there are lots of ways they can get hurt. Teenagers get killed in car accidents yet we still allow them to drive. Maybe we should suspend their licenses. Hell, smoking pot and doing other drugs probably does more long term damage to a kid's brain than a concussion from playing sports. I'd rather my kids played sports. Let's be real here, we're talking about football but next on the list is hockey and soccer. Once they are done killing football they will move on to the next sports on the list.

My opinion is football will need to eveolve, or in this case devolve back to its roots. It will become a more rugby style game with soft cap padding and helmets. Blocking and tackling will be done from a more upright position and players will not lower their heads. You are already seeing defensive coaches on the college level incorporate more rugby style tackling into their defenses resulting in less yards after contact and less missed tackles.

FWIW I grew up playing both hockey and football and played football in college. My oldest kid is at that point now where I don't really want him playing football but not for fear of concussions. I would like for him to play both but I don't want him suffering any sort of injury in football season and have it affect hockey season. Hockey is just more important. In the end it is his choice and I will support him if he decides he wants to play both.

Froggy Richards
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Post by Froggy Richards » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:53 am

SCBlueLiner wrote:There are risks in life. There are risks in our kid's lives. It doesn't mean we bubble wrap them and protect them everything.
I hate to keep coming back to the Romans, but they said the same thing here too. "These Gladiators could get hit by a chariot walking down the street, are we going to ban walking now too?"

nahc
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Post by nahc » Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:06 pm

Wow, comparing football to hockey..... participation may be down but when you consider the millions of kids that play football in the U.S. to the total number that play hockey, its really no comparison. They are 2 totally different sports. What makes hockey so unique is that all the actions take place on skates..... which is truly amazing. Having said that, football is indeed a read and react sport from the QB reading the secondary to audible, to the running back picking up the blitz or finding the hole, to a linebacker reacting to a play fake, to a defensive back reacting to a receiver who fakes an out and does a post pattern. These are all split second reactions....... just as much as I would say a forward tipping the puck into the net from a slap shot or a goalie making themselves big in the net to stop a totally screened shot........ to a beautiful tick tack toe pass that ends up in a goal........ both great sports!!!! And the comment earlier made is correct about girls soccer having more concussions per player than football. My son played both sports. If I had to do it all over again, he would again play both sports........

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