The Instigator
hahnej22
Pro (for)
The Contender
WAM
Con (against)

A ban on Youth Football for kids under the age of 14

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2017 Category: Health
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 278 times Debate No: 105196
Debate Rounds (5)
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hahnej22

Pro

I think that there should be a ban on youth football for children under the age of 14 because it can cause health problems and mental injuries. Concussions are a leading cause of dimension. Up to 3.8 million kids get concussions each year. This is a major problem that can be easily solved. Putting a ban on the sport can easily solve the problem of getting to many conclusions. In my school there are usually 5 or so concussions each year that are caused during youth football season. After the age of 14 the brain is still most likely to young to handle a lot of trauma, but it might be mature enough to handle a few bumps and bruises. When the brain is mature enough it will teach itself how to fix problem, which in this case is concussions. There can also be bodily injuries such as arthritis caused by hurt bones and joints. Playing sports can cause injuries that can and probably will last your whole lifetime. Putting a ban on youth football can help to spare these kids the pain and suffering of mental problems and hurt bones and joints. We can help to protect these kids if you help me help them. Leave comments and posts on a few reasons why youth football should be banned.
WAM

Con

Kind regards for this debate.

In this debate I will represent the Con side, meaning that I will argue against the notion that there should be "A ban on Youth Football for kids under the age of 14".

As the sport "football" can be a number of sports, with the most popular being Football/Soccer, and Pro not being clear with a definition, however making claims such as "After the age of 14 the brain is still most likely to young to handle a lot of trauma, but it might be mature enough to handle a few bumps and bruises" and "There can also be bodily injuries such as arthritis caused by hurt bones and joints", as well as "Playing sports can cause injuries that can and probably will last your whole lifetime", I am moved to the notion to disregard what specific sport is being meant (at least in this round), and to simply argue against the case of sport being banned for under 14 year old.

This arises from the ground that all physical sports come with a risk of concussion and injury, and thus would fall into Pros category of "trauma" and "injury", with the actual type of sport being in the background.

For this debate I will follow the succeeding order of an introduction with opening statements, a rebuttal to my opponents arguments, and a short conclusion.

Introduction:
There is no doubt that sports are dangerous, and that injury does occur. However, with the outlook on life that 'dangerous' activities should be banned, it would be more advisable to ban a large amount of other, far more dangerous activities, specifically as sports, most certainly for young children, brings many more benefits than disadvantages.

Specifically, and I quote (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...), "over the past three decades, the incidence of obesity in children has tripled, with one of every three children being affected.", meaning childhood obesity rates in the USA, as well as other developed countries, are far more alarming and costly for society as a whole than sports injuries. Considering that "positive health benefits for physically active young girls include a reduced risk for developing breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, and obesity in the future", with similar going for young boys, engagement shows many positive effects, with the prospect of obesity and ill health not to be taken lightly, as "childhood obesity is a good predictor of adult obesity".

Furthermore the same article states that a "decline in physical activity has been attributed to increased use of car transport to and from school, an abundance of time spent in front of screens, and limited access to recess, physical education, and after-school programs", meaning that it would be of far more benefit to encourage young kids to participate in sports, especially as "by the time children are 15 years of age, 70%–80% are no longer engaged in sport", showing the importance of involving especially young children under the age of 14 in sports, as they are more likely to stay involved and participate in sports long after their childhood years. More alarming would also be that the "time spent outdoors engaging in traditional pickup games of “kick the can”, “dodge ball”, “kick ball”, and “stick ball” are replaced with an average of 7.5 hours per day of screen time for children aged 8–18 years", being a further bad health trend, and invreasing the importance of young children in sporting programs.

The source mentioned above specifically analyses the risk-reward concept of children engaging in sports, and finds that the reward far outweighs the risk, with numerous benefits for children, as well as said children when they grow up.

(http://journals.plos.org...) finds that "Results based on the selection-on-observables strategy point towards a positive impact of sports on children’s health, school performance and behaviour, which are consistent across both datasets. Yet, once we consider lagged outcomes and past sports club participation, we detect only significant effects on children’s school performance and on one dimension of children’s behaviour: overall school grades improve by 0.19 standard deviations (henceforth sd), while peer problems decrease by 0.22 sd", showing a further benefit of sports that Pro would eliminate with a ban on youth sports. This adds into "children's health is significantly better when doing sports", with the medical costs of obesity in the USA in 2008 being $147 billion, while obesity-related absenteeism had a cost in the range of $3.38 billion ($79 per obese individual) to $6.38 billion ($132 per obese individual), as stated by (https://www.cdc.gov...)

The direct effects of Pros implementation would be increasing obesity, as well as numerous other negative effects, far outweighing the risk of injury.

Rebuttals:
In their round Pro stated that "Up to 3.8 million kids get concussions each year". While Pro did not provide a source for this, I found the relevant source at (http://www.protectthebrain.org...). The source states that "An estimated 1.6-3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year", with Pro clearly misquoting, as this number has no relation with children, as the number for children is stated to be 135,000, being, at the highest, around 10%, and, at the lowest, under 5% of sports concussion

Pro states that "Putting a ban on the sport can easily solve the problem", however failing to address that other activities may be engaged as a substitute, which may cause the same result of injury. After all, bored children will find something to entertain themselves, especially if they are the physically active type, a trait that should not be discouraged by bans.

Assuming that Pro wanted to spell 'dementia', and not "dimension", the claim that concussions are a leading cause of dementia are simply incorrect. While the are a cause, the leading causes are Alzheimer's disease, accounting for 50-70% of dementia, with 70% of Alzheimer's disease assumed to be cause by genetic factors, while the second leading cause is Vascular dementia, at a number of around 20%, which can actually be caused by diabetes, a which can be the result of poor health and obesity (http://www.dementia.com...)

"There can also be bodily injuries such as arthritis caused by hurt bones and joints", being a weak argument, as (http://journals.plos.org...) states that there are "positive effects for bone development during childhood" through children's participation in sports.

Furthermore, any sport or activity can cause injury, even typing on a computer keyboard can cause arthritis. Should this be banned too?

Pro finishes with a plea for the 'poor children' and states that "putting a ban on youth football can help to spare these kids the pain and suffering of mental problems and hurt bones and joints", yet fails to realise that "rates of teenage pregnancy, unprotected sexual intercourse, smoking, drug use, and suicide decrease with increasing physical activity and participation in sports", issues far more detrimental to mental health than the risk of sport injury (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...). Furthermore, as already stated above, engaging in sports was even found beneficial or children's bone growth.

With a claim of wanting to "help to protect these kids", it seems almost like Pro is seeing these children as victims, rather than seeing or thinking of the outnumbering benefits brought on by children engaging in sports.

Conclusion:
While there is an undeniable risk of injury in sports or any kind of activity,the positive effects of children participating in sports far outweigh the negative aspects, as clearly demonstrated above. This makes this a simple, economical risk-reward issue, with the reward clearly outweighing the risk, regardless of what sport is meant.

Pro has not provided anything other than anecdotal evidence, with no sources or references, and has failed to explore or acknowledge the positive impact of children participating in sports, as well as inflating numbers of children involved in injury, with actual numbers being a fraction, and the majority of injuries not cause by sports involvement.

Kind regards, I am looking forward to the next round.

References used:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
http://journals.plos.org...
http://www.protectthebrain.org...
https://www.cdc.gov...
http://www.dementia.com...
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