• Mr. Steven J. Muehler

Steve Muehler's Plan to Ban Contact Sports For Children

Updated: Apr 23


As the College Football and the NFL craziness get ready to start in just about sixty days, it may be time to address how children are being affected by their involvement in the sport from a young age. I skimmed a Boston University School of Medicine study of a group of NFL retirees and found that while all of them scored below average on some cognitive tests, those who had started playing tackle football before the age of 12 scored much lower than those who started playing after the age of 12. The study implies that the constant collision that comes from playing football at a young age is harmful in ways that a cast or brace can’t fix. All Contact sports, including football, under my administration would be banned from children’s leagues due to their impairment of cognitive function.


While I am not one to debate the merits of team sports during one’s adolescence, something must be changed when kids are allowed to, and even encouraged to, inflict brain trauma on one another consistently throughout a season. Many football and hockey leagues allow children as young as five years old to play aggressively by tackling and body checking each other.


From a physical standpoint, it is obvious why this is a detriment to the children involved. Firstly, before the age of 14 there is a massive disparity in head and body size, with the head being much larger than the neck, creating a disproportion called the “bobble-head effect.” When a child experiences trauma to the head, it will automatically snap back because of this size imbalance. An especially strong hit could create a fatal neck injury and undoubtedly increases the chance of concussion. Around the age of 14, the head grows to within 90 percent of adult size and the body is strong enough to steady the head if dealt a blow. In addition, by age 14 the brain has increased development of the protein myelin, which serves as insulation for the cranial nerve fibers. A child’s brain has less of this crucial buffer, making it much more susceptible to harmful injury.


And there is the fact that even if a childhood injury does not physically impact a child forever, the cognitive impact will stay with them. Concussions and other head injuries can create learning and memory problems later in life. One’s mental flexibility is in no way strengthened by the repeated hitting of one’s head, and that is essentially what football is about. Since leagues cannot find a way to diminish the need of tackling throughout the game, then my Administration will ensure that involvement in the sport by children will be banned.


However, I my Administration will also be focused on improving the sport rather than removing it all together. The teamwork and peer exposure that football gives children does serve a positive purpose in their life, but its aggression and physical implications give youth leagues a bad rep all together.


Under my Administration, for all children under the Age of 16 Years:

  • No participation in Boxing where blows to the head are allowed.

  • No participation in any Martial Art where blows to the head are allowed.

  • No participation in full contact Football

  • No participation in hockey where body checking is allowed

  • No head strikes of the ball in soccer

  • Any child under 18 years who suffers a concussion in any sport must wait 30 calendar days before being allowed to participate again, and participation will only be allowed after doctors exam of the child.

  • Any child under 18 years who suffers a second concussion in any sport within 30 days must wait 180 calendar days before being allowed to participate again, and participation will only be allowed after doctors exam (which must include a scan of the brain) of the child.

  • Any child under 18 years who suffers a third concussion in any sport within 360 days must wait 360 calendar days before being allowed to participate again, and participation will only be allowed after doctors exam (which must include a scan of the brain) of the child.


Steve Muehler is the Founder & Managing Member of the Private Placement Markets:

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