Sports Concussion Update: Pop Warner Starts to Shrink

The Pop Warner youth football group shrank by over 25,000 members since 2010, according to several recent news reports.

We believe this is the beginning of a long term decline in football program participation rates among grade school age to high school age players, who form the lower steps of a broad feeder system into college and professional football teams.

The main reason for this sharp fall in Pop Warner rosters: growing awareness of the long term dangers of concussions on the playing field — especially for players who experience multiple concussions.

The declining interest in Pop Warner football isn’t by any means an immediate threat to the NFL, which is best viewed as a multi-billion dollar entertainment franchise.

It does, however, suggest a long term secular shift away from heavy contact sports in school age team sports programs.

See also: Soccer Headers & Brain Damage – An Open Question?