For High School Football, It's Safety First

There are several rules in place when it comes to safety. John Johnson of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, MHSSA, said players aren't even allowed to step on the field without the proper equipment.

"You come out of the gate doesn't matter if you're wearing gloves or you're wearing whatever you're wearing it has to be NOCSAE certified to be used in competition," explained Johnson.

NOCSAE standards are a set of published standards that all football equipment manufacturers have to follow. And, so do schools.

Johnson said with each piece of equipment meeting these needs, all players are on the same safety level.

"As long as teams are taking the field in properly fitted, NOCSAE certified equipment, it doesn't matter where you come from. It doesn't matter what the socio-economic demographic is. It should be a level playing field in terms of the safety equipment kids wear in competition," Johnson said.

And Eastern High School's Coach McBride said the Lansing School District doesn't tighten their belt when it comes to providing their players with the safest equipment.

"We provide the whole uniform, pads and everything like that. And, it's pretty nice stuff, we don't try to go cheap to save a buck," McBride said.

They don't go cheap because they're raising money for the football program throughout the year. And, he said, that saves parents from paying extra. They're just asked to support the fundraising efforts.

"When we have card sales, when we have a golf outing, when we have concessions. Those are all different ways we can raise money for our football program. We just ask the parents to participate," McBride explained.

Everyone working together to make the game the safest it's ever been.

Easter has had special training sessions for coaches that emphasize safety. The MHSAA said with the players and coaches more cautious of safety, there should be fewer on field incidents.


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