USA Football, the sport’s national governing body, is now teaching players to tackle in a different way.
The group is teaching players to tackle an opponent by wrapping their arms around them rather than ramming them with their heads.
The goal of the “Heads Up” program is to reduce head injuries and make the sport safer.
“It’s a little too soon to tell, but I think anecdotally, it makes a lot of sense to coach athletes to tackle with their heads up and not sure their head as a weapon,” Dr. Steven Broglio, Professor of Athletic Training at the University of Michigan, said.
There’s no data yet on whether “Heads Up” does in fact reduce head injuries.
A separate study found concussions sustained from blows to the top of the head were more likely to result in a loss of consciousness, something reduced with this new technique.