Perhaps due to strides in concussion awareness, high school football saw an increase in participation nationwide last season for the first time in five years, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
An additional 6,607 boys participated in 11-man football during the 2013-14 season, making the total number of players in the country 1,093,234. Aiding that number was an additional 184 girls playing high school football, bringing the total number of girls to 1,715 nationwide.
Technology continues to improve the safety measures of football equipment and tangible progress in preventing concussions also includes a recently approved assembly bill in California limiting full contact high school football practices to three hours per week. AB 2129 will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.
“We are pleased with the increase in participation numbers in the sport of football for the 2013-14 school year,” Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director, told nfhs.org. “With the precautions that are in place nationwide to address concussions in all high school sports, including football, we have maintained that the risk of injury is as low as it ever has been. Certainly, this rise in football numbers is a confirmation of those beliefs and indicates the strong continued interest nationwide in high school football.”