The California Youth Football Alliance is planning to begin distributing a concussion education program called CrashCourse to parents, coaches, and youth football players as part of a new partnership with TeachAids. A portion of the online course offers content recorded in virtual reality to create an immersive learning experience.
Nonprofit organization TeachAids developed CrashCourse in collaboration with researchers from Stanford University. Founded in 2009, TeachAids has received funding from tech giants such as Google and Microsoft. CrashCourse consists of a VR demo that mimics the on-field experience of playing high school football, a concussion symptoms simulator, interactive educational videos starring prominent athletes, and 3D visual representations of the human brain.
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“Our partnership with TeachAids enables us to deliver world-class training to parents, coaches, administrators, and referees. TeachAids content combined with our Alliance Management Platform puts the very best education in the hands of our supporters, thereby raising the duty of care for our players and enabling the benefits of youth tackle football to be experienced by anyone who chooses to play,” said Joe Rafter, co-founder and president of CAYFA, in a press release.
CAYFA was founded in response to two California assembly members introducing the “Safe Youth Football Act” in April 2018. That legislation aimed to ban youth statewide from participating in tackle football before they reached high school, but was defeated before reaching a committee hearing. CAYFA instead aims to preserve youth tackle football by implementing technology and educational programs that can make the game safer.
All affiliate members associated with CAYFA will immediately begin receiving the full interactive CrashCourse program. An HD version of the program is also available for free online.
“Our partnership with California Youth Football Alliance provides us an exciting opportunity to educate parents, youth and coaches on concussions. We are delighted to join CAYFA in working to promote a safer environment in youth sport,” said Dr. Piya Sorcar, founder and CEO of TeachAids, in the press release.
CAYFA also released an opposition statement in February against a Massachusetts bill aiming to ban youth tackle football in the state. Lawmakers in states such as New York and Illinois have proposed similar unsuccessful bills to ban youth tackle football. Youth football organization Pop Warner as well as high schools in Arkansas have previously partnered with TeachAids to provide participants with the CrashCourse concussion education program.