New Rules for Football Safety

3/2/13: Suggestions for minimizing injury in football requires rule and equipment changes.

#1: No tackling above the belt.  This removes all head hits protecting the man with ball.  This removes helmet hitting thereby protecting the tackler’s head, brain and neck.  FRI: A “stinger” is a neck related nerve compression or traction injury.

#2: No blocking below the belt. This is in place at present for the open field and for chop blocks.  The line of scrimmage would become like summa wrestling.  I would remove the submarine type blocks that are potentially injurious to the blocker’s head neck and shoulders.  It removes the hit to he defensive man’s knee, leg, foot and ankle.

#3: Quarter back (QB) is considered down with single defensive player has simultaneous two hand touch absent an interposed player of QB’s team.  This removes the driving the QB into the ground as pass is thrown.  This driving into the ground event results in QB going backwards and back of his head hitting the ground with concussion potential.

#4: Remove the cleats or traction features on the heel of the shoe.  This would reduce significantly the lever arm and thereby the torque force transmitted to the lower extremity.  When the planted foot is fixed to the turf and undergoing rotation from the upper body to change direction there is potential knee and ankle ligament injury from the transmitted rotational and axial load.  I had this idea in the 1970’s.  It was tried by MSU’s coach Duffy Daugherty for practice sessions.  However he removed the entire heel of the shoe which caused an objectionable doriflexion of the foot and ankle.

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