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Baltimore County football programs addressing concerns over the sport’s potential for head injury

Baltimore County football programs addressing concerns over the sport’s potential for head injury

It’s not your father’s football.

Today’s gridiron warriors, starting in youth leagues as young as age 5 and continuing through high school and beyond, are learning how to play a kinder and gentler version of America’s favorite contact sport — in part, because of the result of a growing concern that playing the sport can lead to debilitating head injuries.

At least, that’s the idea behind several trends designed to make the sport safer and to attract more participants, say youth league officials, such as Towson Recreation Council Spartans football commissioner John Putnam.

With an increasing emphasis on shoulder-first “hawk” or rugby-style “heads up” tackling, strict...

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