Sports Concussion Update: Pop Warner Starts to Shrink

By | November 19, 2013

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?