JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.
Certain periodicals and magazines in Great Britain and in this country have been discussing the “dead line” in sports, i. e., the age limit beyond which certain sports must not be indulged in or serious consequences may result. It has been claimed, for instance, that football should not be played after 30 because of the danger of injury to the gradually hardening tissues of the adult after full growth has once been reached. The age limit for cricket in England and for baseball in this country was set down as 40, though it is confessed that some men can indulge in these sports with impunity after this age. It seems impossible, however, to determine any absolute limitation for individuals in this matter since all depends on the condition of heart and arteries, as well as the facility with which the necessary movements are accomplished. It is well-known, for instance, that England's greatest living cricket player continued to indulge in the game until after sixty, without either injuring himself or losing any skill. Not a few of our baseball players in this country have been fifty years of age before they gave it up, and yet maintained their reputations for skilful playing until the end of their baseball career.
THE DEAD LINE IN SPORTS.. JAMA. 2006;296(19):2388. doi:10.1001/jama.296.19.2388-b