Player Safety:

Safety is the #1 Priority for the Liberty Junior Football Programs 

Liberty Junior Football and the Greater Eastside Junior Football League make player safety our top priority. Our commitment to USA Football and the Heads Up Tackling program requires concussion awareness education for coaches, parents, and players. It requires training and certifications for all coaches covering safety, equipment fitting, proper techniques, and more. Research, rule changes, better equipment, increased awareness, improved medical care, and changes in teaching fundamental techniques are making the sport of youth football safer.

Heads up Tackling: 

Our program teaches concussion awareness and proper helmet fitting, but its central tenet is the HEADS UP TACKLING program that literally takes the HEAD out of the game.

Tools to make the game of football safer:

Heads Up Football 

Heads Up Football was introduced in 2012 by the NFL's youth development arm, USA Football, and funded entirely by the league. Heads Up is now employed by over 2,700 youth leagues. The program teaches concussion awareness and proper helmet fitting, but its central tenet is the Heads Up Tackling program. When executed properly, Heads Up Tackling literally takes the head out of the game. Players are taught to keep their heads up and lead with their shoulders when tackling. Before participating in the Liberty Junior Football League, all parents, players, and coaches are "Heads Up' certified.

Shoulder Tackling System

Liberty Junior Football teaches the Shoulder Tackling technique exclusively! The shoulder tackling system involves tackling the opposing player with your SHOULDER ONLY! The player's neck and head are opposite or away from the point of contact. This style o tackling is also known as rugby tackle and has been used in rugby (where players are without helmets and shoulder pads) safely, since the inception of the games. Should tackling is a FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE in how football players are taught to play the game and this tackling system is now being used throughout the NFL, college, high schools, and youth football leagues across the country.

Heads Up Tackling and Shoulder Tackling Resources

Concussion Information

What about concussion injuries in football? Liberty Junior Football follows the Concussion Awareness Prevention Program (CAPP), which is a program-wide commitment on the part of Liberty Junior Football coaches, players, and parents to reduce the number and severity of concussions incurred by our participants. The CAPP is based on: Education | Best available equipment | Teaching proper fundamentals | Promoting safer play

Recent research shows that teaching proper tackling and limits on full-contact practices, along with other safety measures, such as making sure helmets fit properly, and immediately removing players showing any signs or reporting any symptoms of concussion and not allowing them to return until cleared by a medical professional with concussion expertise, has made and continues to make the game of football safer!  These protocols are all part of the evidence-based Six Pillars approach to concussion risk management which was featured in a 2013 PBS Documentary The Smartest Team.

The six pillars approach used by the Liberty Junior Football Program include:

  1. Concussion education
  2. Tackling techniques (shoulder tackling) to reduce the risk of concussion, brain, neck and spinal cord injury.
  3. Encouraging an environment that fosters open player and parental communication regarding concussions and immediate concussion assessment at the time of a concussion injury.
  4. REMOVAL FROM PLAY concussion protocol and medical assessment; Physical and Cognitive rest.
  5. RETURN TO PLAY concussion protocol and symptom-limited exercise program.
  6. Retirement from contact sports as an option (if multiple concussions throughout the year/s).

Read more:

Other Concussion Resources/Links: