Thoughts on Weight Restrictions for Football

Submitted by Swayze Howell Sheen on December 7th, 2012 at 4:30 PM

There was a discussion in another thread (click here) about Roger Goodell and the potential for kickoff elimination as a way to curb concussions. 

My thought* (which I shared in that thread) was simple: if the powers that be really care about concussions, there is probably one real way to address them: by imposing a maximum weight for playing football. The thinking is this: players are simply just too big and fast these days.

Of course, there are a lot of possible nuances to such a scheme, including different limits per position, and what the actual limits should be. Your idea goes here!

My feelings on Goodell's positioning is that it all relates to potential lawsuit deflection, i.e., concrete small actions he can point to saying "look, we have been trying to make it better!" The real problem lies in something more fundamental: huge, fast men bashing heads over and over. Unless that changes, concussions, for better or worse, are likely here to stay.

That, or some kind of awesome weird big football helmets.

big helmet pic

Your thoughts?

* - actually my wife suggested this. She is pretty smart though.




December 7th, 2012 at 6:59 PM ^

ruin the game completely. why not put a speed restriction in too. If you can run a 40 faster than 4.6 your too fast. Hell, why stop there? Better add a strength limit. Nobody that can benchpress 225 lbs over 10 times can't play either. My god!


December 7th, 2012 at 7:32 PM ^

Concussions are part of football. Unnecessary concussions should not be part of football.

When players were tearing up knees and other ligaments with blocking below the waist on specialty teams, rules committees imposed new rules. Same with chop blocks and horse collars.

If officials vigorously penalize for players launching themselves (already a rule) and rules forbid "kill shots" with failing to wrap up, coaches will demand proper tackling. As long as the NFL and ESPN highlight kill shots where a player hits hard but with improper form, players will keep hitting high and with the helmet.

Just my two bits ...


December 7th, 2012 at 8:00 PM ^

I got a concussion after colliding with a 145lb RB while playing OLB, and another from a 160lb inside center while playing rugby. They just kind of happen, and mine in particular were the result of poor technique.


December 7th, 2012 at 8:08 PM ^

As I heard on the radio from a few NFL players the method to reduce concussions is simple...go back to the leather helmet and no facemasks.  If you don't have any protection on yoru head or face you are much less likely to go full bore helmet first into your opponent.  You are more likely to do what is necessary (take the opponent to ground) but less likely to what is unneccessary (cause bodily harm).   I know the players or yore wear slower and whiter but it seems logical to me that this would help.


December 7th, 2012 at 10:30 PM ^

The single easiest and most effective way to completely eliminate concussions.

Eliminate helmets and all forms of pads minus a cup. 

I enjoy football alot more than rugby but i think they have this one right. With pads today there is a sence of fearlessness and imortality that directly leads to devistatingly violent hits. Take away a mans armor and he will be forced to brace for impacts more intelligently and not simply throw his body around like we see in football today.

Nuf said.


UofM Snowboarder

December 7th, 2012 at 11:23 PM ^

Energy = Mass*Speed^2
Big linemen don't move very fast. A 220 lbs Safety running at 20 MPH has almost twice the energy as a 320 lbs LT coming off the line at maybe 12 mph. Add in the safety coming down and hitting a WR sprinting straight twords him at the same speed, a 40 mph collision with two 200 lbs guys is WAY more dangerous.


December 8th, 2012 at 2:35 AM ^

Based on reading this post, speed is more important than weight. 

So to slow down players:

1)  Give them heavy shoes jockeys.  Heavier shoes for faster guys.  Pant's if necessary.

2)  Slow down the turf. It's possible to put in turf that is slower...similar to court speeds in tennis.  Worse case, we could have everybody play in mud bowl like conditions.  That would eliminate head injuries.


December 8th, 2012 at 10:44 AM ^

Take a look at this video of the Lions' 1957 season. Pay attention to the tackling, and what you'll see is a near-total absence of defensive guys leading with their heads. Helmet-to-helmet contact is incidental, and you simply don't see any attempted kill shots delivered above the shoulders.

My suspicion is that the nature of the equipment—helmets and pads—that they wore at the time made leading with the head and full-speed kill shots more likely to injure the guy who was delivering it than the intended recipient.

ole luther

December 8th, 2012 at 11:12 AM ^

get rid of the helmets and get rid of the concussions.  some pretty major ones at first, but in a very short time.....everyone would begin protecting their own head for fear of hurting the other guy's head.

wanna get rid of the face mask calls (or lack, thereof?)....get rid of the face masks!

Wanna get rid of pulled groins?.....quit running!

Wanna get rid of broken fingers, arms, legs and ankles?.....quit moving!

You people really need to get lives.