Think flag football is safer than tackle football? Study says guess again — 8 key takeaways

Adam Schrag -  

Researchers have published a study in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine pointing out that youth athletes are more likely to sustain injuries while playing flag football as opposed to tackle football.

Here are nine things to know:


1. The researchers enrolled 3,794 youth football players in the study. The players ranged from second to seventh grade.


2. Deidentified player data and injury information from tackle football and flag football leagues was analyzed and compared.


3. A total of 46,416 exposures and 128 injuries were reported.


4. Injuries occurred at a mean age of 10.64 years.


5. Hazard ratio for tackle football as opposed to flag football was 0.45.


6. The rate of severe injuries per exposure for tackle football was 1.1 times the figure for the flag league.


7. Concussion rate per exposure in tackle football was 0.51 times that of the flag league.


8. Overall, researchers concluded that injury is more likely to occur in youth flag football than in young tackle football.


9. Andrew R. Peterson, MD, Adam J. Kruse, MS, Scott M. Meester, Tyler S. Olson, Benjamin N. Riedle, Tyler G. Slayman, MD, Todd J. Domeyer, MD, Joseph E. Cavanaugh, PhD, and M. Kyle Smoot, MD, conducted the study.


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