Catholic School Athletic Association (CSAA) Numbers Down - Archdiocese of Louisville

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    theguru's Avatar
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    Catholic School Athletic Association (CSAA) Numbers Down - Archdiocese of Louisville

    Recently I was on Facebook reading and one of my friends was commenting on the lack of participation in the CSAA.

    Additionally, I see in the Ballard vs. Trinity JV thread that members here also are commenting on the lack of participation in the CSAA, from that thread:

    "Could it also be because participation level seems to be down in youth football? I know CSAA numbers are down from years past."

    Ballard 23 Trinity 0 (JV)

    Before I ask my question I found this on the CSAA site and was impressed enough I thought I should share it:

    Participation in CSAA sports programs is a privilege and not a right. Behavior of players, coaches, parents, spectators, officials, and administrators must at all times keep with the teachings of Christ. The ethical obligation of all involved must be at all times above reproach. Any deviation from this objective could result in the CSAA limiting or taking away the privilege of being a part of the CSAA experience. CSAA Authorities have the right and/or authority to make decisions or rulings regarding the necessary operation of the organization at all times.

    CSAA Louisville

    I have the simple question of why, why are CSAA numbers down? Is the same all over with young kids playing football? Again, why?
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    Many believe 3rd/4th grade tackle football is partly attributable. At an early age some kids prematurely decide that football is not for them. Rumor is that the 3rd/4th grade CSAA tackle league will disband after this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Football View Post
    Many believe 3rd/4th grade tackle football is partly attributable. At an early age some kids prematurely decide that football is not for them. Rumor is that the 3rd/4th grade CSAA tackle league will disband after this year.
    What will the 3rd/4th graders transition to?

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    I was Asst. AD at my sons school and we had our own school team until he was 8 grade when combined with other schools because we saw numbers drop in lower grades. I think with head injury publicity along with other year round sports has had impact. Also CSAA weight limit for carrying ball is lower than some rec leagues which drives some kids away. Also lost some kids when public middle schools started offering football. Used to get some public school kids that would go to church at school’s parish and could play football for the school and now they can play for their public school.

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    Several reasons, the first being that the census for boys in the Catholic school system is down. I know that Saint X has been planning for the last few years to deal with this.
    Second, the scare over injury, primarily to the head are keeping players away, primarily as a result of their Mother's protests. Other sports are gaining popularity.
    Third, the rise in year round sports limits a young man's time and his options.
    Fourth, and this is simply my opinion because I think it was an error, the CSAA a few years back made 3rd and 4th grade flag football a tackle game. The flag football was a fun sport. 9 and 10 year old boys wearing equipment and getting hit while in the heat is not fun. Plus, if a young child becomes afraid, you will never see him again.

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    I want to say student numbers across Catholic grade schools are falling as well. My nephew is a freshman at St. X and his 7th and 8th grade football team last year was a combination of at least three different grade schools.

    I have no stats to support this, but I would guess there are other sports for kids to participate in during the Fall that may or may not be connected with the CSAA. But overall, I would say the decline in numbers in CSAA football would be directly correlated with student enrollment at the grade schools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LongTimeReader View Post
    I want to say student numbers across Catholic grade schools are falling as well. My nephew is a freshman at St. X and his 7th and 8th grade football team last year was a combination of at least three different grade schools.

    I have no stats to support this, but I would guess there are other sports for kids to participate in during the Fall that may or may not be connected with the CSAA. But overall, I would say the decline in numbers in CSAA football would be directly correlated with student enrollment at the grade schools.
    The enrollment is stabilizing due to Catholic Education Foundation kicking in big time money which is bolstering enrollment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theguru View Post
    What will the 3rd/4th graders transition to?
    I think that grade should play flag football. You learn the game and have fun without being confined to certain positions and having to take hits when you aren’t physically (or mentally) ready.

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    One thing I can offer to this discussion. I live in Louisville, and my wife is a pediatric neurologist who works at Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville. She is one of the doctors who sees every child who comes in with a concussion.

    It is the hospital's policy for their doctors to tell every child who comes in with a concussion, along with every child's parent, about the dangers of concussions, CTE, and to advise strongly against playing youth football and against heading the ball in youth soccer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonels_Wear_Blue View Post
    One thing I can offer to this discussion. I live in Louisville, and my wife is a pediatric neurologist who works at Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville. She is one of the doctors who sees every child who comes in with a concussion.

    It is the hospital's policy for their doctors to tell every child who comes in with a concussion, along with every child's parent, about the dangers of concussions, CTE, and to advise strongly against playing youth football and against heading the ball in youth soccer.
    Is there a specific age where she would not issue that advice? Would she give that advice to high schoolers? College age?

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    Flag football was a lot of fun, and I want to say at the time it was only 4th grade. Lost to St. Raphael in the championship game, and then lost to them again when I was in 6th grade in the Toy Bowl. Those Giants were just a thorn in my side during grade school.

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    There appears to be other options to football such as soccer and lacrosse. I’m not saying those sports are safer than football but the perception is that they are. I can’t say I watch a lot of soccer or even a little lacrosse, but some of the hardest hits I’ve ever seen have been in soccer. Granted there aren’t as many blows to the head as there are in football but soccer is a contact sport and there are concussions and broken bones in that sport as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonels_Wear_Blue View Post
    It is the hospital's policy for their doctors to tell every child who comes in with a concussion, along with every child's parent, about the dangers of concussions, CTE, and to advise strongly against playing youth football and against heading the ball in youth soccer.
    If they are going to give that kind of advice, they need to be advising against playing soccer, not just heading the ball. I know plenty of people who had more concussions that I did playing football while playing soccer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Voice of Reason View Post
    Is there a specific age where she would not issue that advice? Would she give that advice to high schoolers? College age?
    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    If they are going to give that kind of advice, they need to be advising against playing soccer, not just heading the ball. I know plenty of people who had more concussions that I did playing football while playing soccer.
    They suggest avoiding full-contact football until high school, and the same with heading the soccer ball. For what it's worth, this is hospital policy and not necessarily my wife's personal take on things.

    I also know my 14 year old nephew's 8th grade Kings Hammer soccer team has reached their 1st year of being permitted to head the ball in their league.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    If they are going to give that kind of advice, they need to be advising against playing soccer, not just heading the ball. I know plenty of people who had more concussions that I did playing football while playing soccer.
    Agree.

    I don't know if this is still true statistically but a number of years ago I was talking with a doctor from Cincinnati Children's and he told me they see way more soccer injuries than football injuries, including concussions.

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