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

Does Football Tax the Body More with its Breaks?

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Debate Round Forfeited
Chase226 has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/30/2016 Category: Sports
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 171 times Debate No: 94252
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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I will be voting that it does.
I am new here, so I may not have the proper layout down yet, so you will have to forgive my noobness.

No trolls please
Don't be rude. Keep to honorable debate form. I don't mind swearing if it has a point or reason, but there is absolutely no need for hostility.

By football I mean specifically, American Football. Grade school, college or professional level American football. It doesn't matter.
By breaks, I mean specifically the act of calling the play dead, etc, where it gives an opportunity to catch your breath for a short time.

First is acceptance
Second is opening statements
Third is closing arguments/rebuttals.

Good luck, and have fun.


I accept my friend.
Debate Round No. 1


The reasons why to me, football is actually more active, as well as dangerous by including a break between plays is quite clear; and can be summed up in these three points.

1) The time out of play is not without another form of fatigue.
There is more than just physical exhaustion to consider. There are mental challenges that can be just as problematic, and can also take a toll on the body, as stressful situations do[1]. And this period has more moving parts than a great many other sports when it comes to these mental strategies. When a play is ruled dead, and the actions against the other team stops - it does not mean all actions stop.

It starts a cycle that every player needs to go through. If they are doing a huddle, they need to stop and get the team together, talk over the play - wait on the call, make sure they are all set up. And then as they start to line up, survey the other team, make a play. Then make adjustments. Either man to man, zone, two deep, one deep safety, all-in. The need to identify the mike before the ball is snapped, etc. There may be several adjustments in a game of chess before the ball is even snapped again, and if you are out of position you can easily give up yards or points, or if on offense - get sacked or get a TFL. And if this a no-huddle offense, you may not get as many adjustments, but the play will be snapped faster usually. Some offenses actually look to exploit this to rush a snap, find someone misaligned or on a wrong assignment getting almost no breather, running around, getting set up and running some more - like the Oregon Ducks[2].

When these sorts of things happening in between snaps - it can wear a person down. And it certainly keeps on them on alert. Keeping on high alert for up to four hours, even longer than a soccer game (usually over in two hours) can bring on the stress symptoms more as the fight-flight response lingers, as cited before. It is a very similar effect to how driving a car can tire someone out. And this is also with realizing that often times players are still running around after a play is dead till when they are almost ready to snap the ball again.

2) Sprinting takes more energy quicker than jogging.
If you ever played much with a track and field team, doing any sort of distance running - you will hear your coach tell you 'pace yourself', as this is one of the first things I learned. To stay active in a nonstop competition you have to make sure you aren't always running. But this isn't true for the short burst, the sprint races. That is where you lay it all on the line - burning calories for max speed. This can result in very potent saps of energy over short durations [3], even as measured by specialist in the field.

Why does this matter to the subject topic? Because by taking a break for only 30-40 seconds, it gives you a chance where you need to line up. But now you have space again between now, and your adversary. And you intend on sprinting down through them or around them as fast as you can. You need to 'shoot the gaps' on offense, or get around and take the quarterback on defense in the shortest amount of time. Time is wasting, and this isn't the distance battle. This is the sprint battle. A different sort of workout monster all together.

If the ball was not ruled dead, the people at the scene of the tackle would still be moving, and it would be more clumped up, and there would inevitably be less speed for quite some some. Sort of like how rugby or soccer can devolve into this slow, methodical (but moving regardless) type intermittent play. That simply doesn't exist in football because of the breaks.

Instead, by taking the breaks, you are guaranteed activity where you will be sprinting flat out in space every 30 to 50 seconds, and if you are on offense - with the intent to sprint perhaps 100 yards down the field. You are then insured to always be having to go to your max calorie burning speed at a higher frequency.

3) Accompanying the second point, this one then follows logically. More dangerous hits.
If you are at a distance to someone, and are now having the ability to run full speed, you are increasing the speed of the collisions. And these collisions can be dangerous, and are only getting worse over time with size [4]. You see, without those stops you may have to go tackle this 300+ lb brusing running back, and then the rest of the team is there, and shoving matches insue, and it may be awhile before having to tackle him in space, head on at speed again. But not here. Now within just 30 seconds, you may have to see that 300lb person going at you in space, at about 20 miles an hour again.

This is the side effect of having to line everyone up, and then giving them the space to accelerate towards eachother with power every 40 seconds. It makes it a burst of energy and carnage. It is a more explosive form of energy output than if it didn't have any breaks. In fact, the ultimate form of this type of distance/sprinting action embodies this in football. The kick-off return: "The Most Dangerous Play in Football"[5]. All lined up, 10-20 yards of free space and running at eachother. Lots of concussions, lots of injuries in general. Many want to actually remove the play be because the danger it has. And the things that make it problematic are the things that are simply the amplified form of what makes the style of play that football breaks allow.



Every point you made has truth to it, I played football for over ten years, won 1 state championship, was first team all state, and went to play college ball and now I coach football. Injuries are a very ugly part of the sport, but with contact there is a risk to get hurt. Preventing injuries comes from working out and conditioning, something that as football players we spent more than 70% of our time doing was working out and running because if you are not in top shape, the guy lining up in front of you is, and you will get hurt.
The reason breaks do not tax the body more is because when you hear the whistle blow, regardless of what side of the ball you are on, you huddle up get your call in and you reset to get ready for the next play. It is like clockwork, running a football offense is an art of its own, trust me, I was a center huddling up was sometimes the greatest gift you can ask for because it allows one team to control the pace of the game one drive at a time. Some games I played over 100 snaps, playing both ways, I would walk away purple and blue but never once in my whole time playing football thought,
"man those breaks between plays are killing me"
If you're in shape, exhaustion due to game breaks will not be an issue.
Going into the 4th quarter you should be at around 80% of your 'fuel tank' left. Injuries in football are a given, but proper technique and being in shape you will cut down your risk of injury by 80%. Conclusions are caused mainly by bad technique, torn ligaments, random broken bones are caused by not lifting and running enough. But you may get your arm or ankle caught in a bad spot, or a rib hit and break it. You might hit your head funny and be concussed, it sucks and it happens. Breaks between plays have nothing to do with it.
Debate Round No. 2


Much of cons points seem to be irrelevant or a reinforcement to my points, but I will now address them anyway.

Some quick rebuttles:

"is because when you hear the whistle blow, regardless of what side of the ball you are on, you huddle up get your call in and you reset to get ready for the next play. It is like clockwork, running a football offense is an art of its own," - Con

I think this quote really reinforces my point above in #1, about how you stop and have to go do other things now since play is over.

Con has argued that strength and conditioning decreases injuries, and while debatably true, does not have relevance to whether or not the breaks themselves make the game more dangerous or not.

Con has made an argument that proper technique and discipline also avoid issues, which doesn't seem to be a factor into this conversation. Yes, con is 80% of the injuries may be cut down by proper technique - but that may not the breaks may cause more impact, and thus more damage when injuries still occur. Furthermore, while injuries for certain a part of how the body is taxed, they aren't the only metric to look at.

Con has made an argument that a good offense controlling when they snap the ball gives them the control over the pace of the game. While this may be true (given the offense is playing effectively enough to actually be successful in dictating the pace of the game), it isn't relevant to my arguments that because the play stopped, now you are lined up and hitting harder. This might be good for a debate on the pros and cons of playing offense or defense, but not here.

I think the only argument Con has put forward that is relevant, which is why I saved it for last is this:
"I would walk away purple and blue but never once in my whole time playing football thought,
'man those breaks between plays are killing me'" - Con

The problem with this to me is simple, the breaks give a lull in the momementum, a way to catch your breath. But ultimately, that may only be 30 seconds, with no assurance of getting more. And it certainly isn't enough time to recuperate long enough to where it actually helps you more than its design will hurt you. It still doesn't answer the question on how the breaks are set up the way they are - lets players get into position again and thus, also take more out of you.

My arguments are that the breaks, how they are set up now, one of the defining differences between it and things like rugby - also make it more dangerous. And contrary to popular belief, will ultimately tax a body more than if they didn't stop, catch their breath and then line up again. Because they can now line up again with that break, and are in better position for an explosive play all over again. That is my argument.

This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by lannan13 2 months ago
If I were you, I would have a certain ELO limit in order to prevent trolls from accepting the debate.
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