Some of the world's leading experts on head injuries in sport have suggested no children should be playing contact sport before the age of 12.

A group of Boston scientists told the Herald this week that the younger you started sports like rugby and American football, the greater your chances of suffering degenerative brain diseases.

We put that to some key members of the Bay of Plenty rugby and sporting community who accepted the research but had a slightly different view on the best way to prepare children for contact sport and life in general.

The suggestion that children under the age of 12 should not be allowed to play contact sport has been rubbished by members of the Bay of Plenty rugby community.

While those involved in introducing children to contact sport in the Bay of Plenty, many of them parents themselves, accept the Boston scientists' findings, they argue that the same could be said of most rough and tumble activities children get up to.

They say the key to sport is it is played in a safe and controlled environment.

In Bay of Plenty, children play rippa rugby and smaller versions of the