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RMU Poll Shows Growing Support for Banning Youth Contact Football

Sunday, November 30, 2014

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 18, 2014 – According to results of a national poll by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute Powered by Trib Total Media, 49.4 percent of Americans support a ban on youth playing contact football prior to entering high school.

This represents an increase from a 2013 RMU poll that showed 40.5 percent supported the ban. Among respondents with children, the percent supporting a ban in 2014 is even higher, at 51 percent.

The same 2013 RMU poll showed that 47.8 percent supported a ban on contact football prior to entering middle school. The 2014 poll showed support for that ban grew to 55.6 percent, and among parents, the percent supporting the ban was 56.8 percent.

Those supporting bans for youth contact football before high school and before middle school has grown significantly since these same questions were posed in 2013. In addition to encouraging children to ban football prior to high school and middle school, 46.7 percent of respondents would be very or somewhat likely to encourage their own child or another child to avoid playing contact football altogether.

“The data indicates attitudes may be changing regarding concussions,” said Samantha Monda an assistant professor of psychology at RMU who specializes in sport and exercise psychology.

“Recently, there have been significant efforts to educate the public in how to recognize and manage concussion symptoms. The increase in support for potential rule changes to the game of football may reflect the greater research and media attention to this topic. Increased awareness and attention to the topic is the first step in getting correct information out to key individuals,” said Monda.

All respondents were asked if they supported a ban on youth playing football prior to entering high school and prior to entering middle school. All categories showed an increase from the 2013 poll to the 2014 poll and the results of those respondents with children were higher in each category.

ABOUT THE POLL: The poll was conducted by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute Powered by Trib Total Media. Polling by the Institute is conducted on a regular basis and may also include spontaneous polling on occurring events.

METHODOLOGY: The poll sampled opinions of 1,004 approximately proportional to state population contribution nationwide. The survey was conducted Nov. 24 to Dec. 5, 2014. All surveys were conducted using an online survey instrument. The poll has a +/- 3.0 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level on a composite basis.

Through 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate degree programs across five academic schools, Robert Morris University (RMU) in Pittsburgh, Pa., works to change its students' lives so that they can go out and change the lives of others for the better. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate, nontraditional and online students from 37 states and 37 nations are enrolled at RMU, which sits on 230 scenic acres just 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. Emphasizing experiential learning, Robert Morris focuses on professional development, service learning, global awareness, undergraduate research, campus leadership, and cultural experiences, all of which are documented on our innovative Student Engagement Transcript. More than 100 clubs and organizations help students to develop leadership skills, network professionally, and meet friends. RMU also has 16 NCAA Division I athletic programs, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and men's and women's lacrosse. Learn more at


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