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HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

In Oklahoma, As In Rest Of U.S., Youth Tackle Football Participation Rates Are Dropping

Jamie Williams
Flickr Creative Commons

Like most of the country, Oklahoma is seeing a drop in youth tackle football participation. ESPN has reported that in the six years from 2009 to 2015, national participation dropped from around 4 million players down to about 3.2 million.

Similarly, according to the Tulsa World, Oklahoma’s largest youth tackle football organization, the Indian Nation Football Conference, has 1,000 fewer players than it did five years ago. Much of the drop has been attributed to parental fears of concussions and other injuries.

But Chad Lott of the Indian Nation conference disagrees, believing the lower number of players is attributable to the major time commitment involved in tackle football.

Lott said “It’s easier for parents to blame concussions than to say, ‘I don’t want my Saturdays to be tied up with football. I don’t want to go to practice three nights a week.’”