Weight Limits Not Necessary To Protect Lighter Players In Youth Football

It has long been assumed that both age and weight categories are necessary to protect lighter players in youth tackle football. However, many youth football organizations began changing to age only divisions and dropping the weight limit requirements over the past ten years. The pros and cons of this issue have been hotly debated in the youth football community over the past several years. According to Sadler Sports Insurance, a new study from the tackle football Accident Insurance claim database from American Youth Football, Inc. confirms that the risks to lighter players is about the same even without the existence of maximum weight limitations.

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Study confirms that the risks to lighter players is about the same even without the existence of maxiumum weight limitations.

Columbia, SC (PRWEB) May 24, 2012

It has long been assumed that both age and weight categories are necessary to protect lighter players in youth tackle football. However, many youth football organizations began changing to age only divisions and dropping the weight limit requirements over the past ten years. The pros and cons of this issue have been hotly debated in the youth football community over the past several years. Now, a new study from the tackle football Accident Insurance claim database from American Youth Football, Inc. confirms that the risks to lighter players is about the same even without the existence of maximum weight limitations.

According to John Sadler, President of Sadler Sports Insurance, “A study of injuries occurring from 2009 to 2011 in American Youth Football, Inc. indicates that the risks of injuries to lighter players is about the same in the weighted (age groups and maximum weights for all players), modified (age groups and maximum weights for ball carriers only), and unlimited (age groups only) divisions.

The American Youth Football, Inc. study tracked the progression of injuries to players of various weight categories through the weighted, modified, and unlimited divisions. The percentage of total injuries to lighter players (both below average and significantly below average) was about the same regardless of the division in which they participated. The percentage of total injuries to below average weight players ranged from 9.25% (weighted) to 11.50% (modified) to 8.96% (unlimited). The percentage of total injuries to significantly below average weight players ranged from 0.00% (weighted) to .30% (modified) to .71% (unlimited).

Most scientists and doctors who have studied the issue speculate that older players are injured more frequently because they run faster, hit harder, and are more aggressive. However, youth players who are larger don’t necessarily impact with more force if they aren’t fast and strong.

American Youth Football, Inc. and Sadler Sports Insurance are dedicated to giving back to the youth football and cheer community with critical studies on safety issues that impact the quality of the sports experience. All participants in the endorsed AYF Accident / General Liability insurance plan contribute data to these important studies.

See recent blog that details American Youth Football, Inc. study.

See prior blog of John Sadler debate script on pros and cons of unlimited vs. weighted divisions

About Sadler Sports Insurance:

Sadler Sports Insurance is a division of Sadler & Company, Inc. in Columbia, SC and specializes in insuring national sports organizations such as American Youth Football. Sadler provides risk management services such as injury analysis for its clients as well as public education on the topic of sports risk management and protection of youth against injuries and administrators and volunteers against lawsuits.


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