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Response to: ‘Don’t let kids play football’: a killer idea
  1. Rachael Bullingham1,
  2. Adam White1,2,
  3. John Batten2
  1. 1 Institute for Sport and Exercise Science, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK
  2. 2 Department of Sport and Exercise, University of Winchester, Winchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rachael Bullingham, Institute for Sport and Exercise Science, University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester, WR2 6AJ, UK; R.Bullingham{at}

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In a recent BJSM editorial, it was stated that ‘shutting down youth sports programmes’ is not the answer to injury concerns in contact sport, suggesting there may be unintended consequences, such as increasing sedentary behaviour.1 With physical inactivity a leading cause of mortality, concerns about decreasing participation in physical activity are justified. This issue has even been discussed in a previous editorial in the BJSM.2 There is no evidence, however, to suggest that collision sports (specifically) are necessary to combat sedentary lifestyles of youth. There also continues to be a distinct misunderstanding of what has been called for in regards to the banning of tackling in school rugby, which will now be clarified.

Removing the tackle in school rugby

In March 2016, the Sport Collision Injury Collective called on the British Government to take action to remove the tackle from rugby in the school environment only. Four main reasons for removing the tackle from …

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  • Competing interests AW is a member of the England Rugby Football Schools Union. RB, AW and JB are all members of the Sport Collision Injury Collective.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.