Head-Down Contact in Football -JonHeck.Com

Research Articles
Head's Up DVD
News Releases & Articles
'NCAA News' History
Penalty Data
Helmet Contact Penalties
Prevention Tips
Head-Down Home

2009 Catastrophic Injuries
2008 Catastrophic Injuries

This web site serves as a repository of information on this topic.

Questions or comments can be sent to:


Head-down contact in football is the primary mechanism of injury for catastrophic cervical spine injuries that result in paralysis. It is also a cause of serious head injuries and concussions. Unintentional head-down contact remains an unrecognized risk to most of the football community.

"See What You Hit" ... Almost Always Misunderstood

"See What You Hit' is a phrase that had good intentions. It came along to help eliminate head-down contact and serious cervical spine injuries. Unfortunately, the often- used phrase is almost always misunderstood by coaches, players and lots and lots of others. Most interpret this phrase to mean 'initiate contact your face mask." more

Recent Nostalgic On the Web Research
In 2008 the NCAA again made changes to their spearing/ helmet contact rules. More Sports Illustrated on Spearing in 1983: "Ironically and tragically, it is the players doing the spearing who are catastrophically or fatally injured as many as a dozen times each year."... more Imperative that players learn proper tackling:
"Every football player, coach and referee, from the National Football League down to the little leagues of football, should know how to prevent these injuries.
NATA Position Statement: Head-down Contact and Spearing in Tackle Football.
"Catastrophic cervical spine injuries are among the most devastating" ... more

2010 Cervical Spine Injuries (From News Articles)

Name Injury Severity Level
1. Brandon Burkes cervical spine fracture High School, NC
2. Cooper Doucette cervical spine paralysis High School, NH
3. LeAndre Daniels cervical spine fracture College, WA
4. Josh Rouse cervical spine fracture College, MI
5. Dakota Hruby cervical spine fracture High School, OH
6. Diondre Preston cervical spine paralysis High School, TX
7. Colt Brake cervical spine paralysis High School, NC
8. Eric LeGrand cervical spine paralysis College, NJ
9. Terry Pittman cervical spine fracture Middle School, NC