MA doctor says, “No More Tackling in High School Football.”

Retired Massachusetts Doctor Nicholas Wright wants to end tackle football in western Massachusetts and replace it with touch football.

Retired Doctor Nicholas Wright says continuous blows to the head for football players are far from a mild problem.  The solution? Get rid of tackling altogether.

Local AD Lindsey Von Holtz says that’s not the solution. Teaching kids about proper tackling, technique, and things like that are more effective in keeping the integrity of the game intact and prevent unnecessary blows to the head.

Statewide protocol for concussions is the return to play protocol, which is a six-step tracker to clear players for the field – no activity, light exercise, sport exercise, non-contact drills, contact drills, and return to play.

Von Holtz said that this formula has worked wonders for athletes.

“It gives the athletes an idea of where they are, what they have to accomplish, and it stresses that they have to remain symptom free in order to continue,” Von Holtz explained.

Dr. Wright says the protocol for concussions although well intentioned still leave significant numbers of high school students at serious risk of brain injury.”

Many youth football leagues have turned to flag football to reduce the long term risk of tackling, while teaching proper tackling technique for the high school level, which Von Holtz said could make all the difference.

With proper planning and education, concussions can be controlled and football can play on all the same.

“I think the state has done a good job of making sure that coaches and athletic directors are educated on concussion protocols. That education has now extended to include parents and students of the harms of a concussion.

Paul Dobbs  


November 30, 2016