Student Well-Being

Sports Legacy Institute Proposes ‘Hit Count’ for Youth Athletes

By Bryan Toporek — February 03, 2012 1 min read

The Boston-based Sports Legacy Institute is calling for all youth sports organizations to alter their playing rules and limit the amount of head contact that student-athletes endure, in a white paper released today.

Much like how youth baseball has put pitchers on a “pitch count” to reduce the wear-and-tear on their elbows, the SLI suggests putting youth athletes on a “hit count” to reduce the risk of concussion and long-term brain damage.

“While most [youth] programs have taken positive steps on the concussion issue, few if any are actively working to limit exposure to sub-concussive brain trauma,” the SLI says in the white paper. “Today, children are exposed to levels of brain trauma that are considered dangerous and unacceptable for adults.”

A study released by the University of Rochester last November suggested that minor, routine hits to the head could cause long-term brain damage in youth athletes, even if those hits don’t cause concussions. And a July study from

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.