Tough Calls: How concussions are changing youth football

The sport of football is changing. Revelations about widespread brain injuries have ushered in new rules and a lawsuit against the NFL. But what about the millions of kids who play football in elementary, middle and high school?

We asked our network of Student Reporting Labs around the country to investigate the impact of new awareness of concussions on youth football programs in their communities.

The result is Tough Calls, a truly unique collection of youth-produced reports from South Carolina, Montana, California, Iowa, Texas, Wisconsin and Missouri. There are stories about players cheating the ImPact test so that they can get back in the game, “eyes up, heads up” strategies to avoid injuries, football players who have given up the game and parents who have channeled the grief of their son’s loss into a new state-wide law.

The following schools contributed to this project:

Black River Falls High School, Fort Mill High School, Paseo Academy, Sentinel High School, Shenandoah High School, Stephen F. Austin High School and Windsor High School

Follow the discussion on Twitter using hashtag #toughcalls.