A big change is coming to the football scene in Shreveport Bossier. The YMCA league will no longer have tackle football.

YMCA of NWLA

The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana says protecting children is a top priority. "Medical experts are on board. NFL greats are on board. And coaches around the country are coming out in full support."

Beginning in the fall of 2019, the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana will shift all of its football leagues to flag football only.

Gary Lash, CEO of YMCA of Northwest Louisiana says

We have been carefully following this issue for a number of years educating ourselves as much as possible. We know how important this topic has become and the evidence is simply too strong now to ignore. This is the right thing to do to protect our kids and our community.

The YMCA sent KEEL this statement:

A recent study concludes that a football player’s risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is determined by the number of years the player participates in tackle football. CTE is a progressive degenerative brain disease. Soccer, hockey, boxing and martial arts have all had athletes diagnosed with CTE. However, football is the only one of the aforementioned sports yet to respond as scientific evidence continues to mount.

Jim Harbaugh, Head Coach at the University of Michigan says, “I always encourage youngsters in America to play soccer. I think every American boy should play soccer till the eighth grade, then they should play football – American football.”

Mike Suggs who is in his 19th season as Head Football Coach at C.E. Byrd states, “I think anything that can be done to get more children safely involved in sports is a positive. I think this will increase the number of participants in youth football.”