Jun 19, 2012 9:04 PM by Siera Santos

Local Pop Warner players and coaches respond to groundbreaking changes

In every American football game, at least one player suffers a mild concussion. With startling statistics showing the dangers of concussions, Pop Warner football decided to make some major changes for the 2012 season to protect their players from head injuries.

"Everybody's aware as far as what's going on with concussions in football right now," says Norm Stanley with Pike's Peak Pop Warner.

"We want the kids to be able to play on Saturday. We don't want them sitting on the sidelines or at the hospital."

Research shows that the hardest hits happen during practice, not games. Therefore only one-third of practice time will include contact. Also forbidden, full-speed, head-on blocking and tackling from more than three yards apart.

"I think it's pretty good because most of the time in my spring league, we spend most of the time whacking each other. One person might get hurt during that time," says Blake Walthour.

But other players aren't so fond of the changes.

"That's not really fair because you're supposed to learn how to play football," Devin Hackett.

The new rules are the first of their kind and they're effective when football season kicks off on August 1st.


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