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Youth Tackle Football—Proposed Legislation

With increasing attention focused on football and the risk of brain injury, legislation has been proposed in several states to ban youth tackle football. 

We created an interactive map and timeline to keep track of proposals and legislation.

There are only 6 states with active proposals. Hopefully, more states will follow over the coming months and we will keep the map (and this guide) updated with new developments.

Tackling In Youth Football: State by State

(click on a State for details of proposed legislation)

Instructions

  1. Click on a State for details of proposed legislation.
  2. States with current proposed legislation are highlighted in orange.
  • Timeline
  • Legislation By State (List)
  • Further reading/links
2019-10-29
Public Hearing On "An Act to amend the public health law, in relation to prohibiting children twelve years old and younger from playing tackle football" (New York)

Lawmakers in New York hold public hearing on Assemblyman Michael Benedetto’s bill to prohibit children twelve years old and younger from playing organized tackle football in the state of New York.

2019-10-22
Public Hearing On "An Act for No Organized Head Impacts to Schoolchildren" (Massachusetts)

Lawmakers in Massachusetts hold public hearing on Rep. Paul A. Schmid III’s bill to prohibit children in the seventh grade or lower grade levels from playing tackle football at school or in youth sports leagues in the state of Massachusetts.

Boston 25 News

2019-07-31
AB-1 Youth athletics: California Youth Football Act (California)

California governor Gavin Newson signs the AB-1 Youth athletics: California Youth Football Act, which:

  1. Limits full contact practice to no more than 30 minutes per day for two days a week
  2. Bans full contact practice for youth football teams during the offseason
  3. Requires a medical professional to be present for all games
  4. Requires an independent person to attend all practice sessions, with the authority to remove players showing signs of injury

California Legislative Information

2019-02-20
An Act for No Organized Head Impacts to Schoolchildren (Massachusetts)

8th Bristol District state Rep. Paul A. Schmid III and 20th Middlesex District state Rep. Bradley H. Jones Jr. sponsor “An Act for No Organized Head Impacts to Schoolchildren” which would prohibit children in the seventh grade or lower grade levels from playing tackle football at school or in youth sports leagues in the state of Massachusetts.
The Herald News

2018-12-13
Seattle Children's Research Institute and UW Medicine's Sports Health and Safety Institute Study

A study by Seattle Children’s Research Institute and UW Medicine’s Sports Health and Safety Institute found concussion rates among football players ages 5-14 were higher than previously reported, with five out of every 100 youth, or 5%, sustaining a football-related concussion each season.
EurekAlert!

2018-09-12
Aspen Institute Study

The Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program releases a white paper suggesting that flag football should be adopted as the standard for youth programs until high school.
Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program

2018-04-26
California Bill Withdrawn

The “Safe Youth Football Act” is withdrawn by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento prior to vote.
San Diego Tribune

2018-03-30
Legislation Introduced In New Jersey

A- 3760: Legislation introduced by Assembly member, Vainieri-Huttle would prohibit children under the age of 12 from participating in tackle football programs offered by a youth team organization.
TAPinto

2018-03-07
Illinois Legislation Withdrawn Pending Amendments

State Rep. Carol Sente announced that she was withdrawing the proposed legislation from consideration pending amendments.
WJOL

2018-03-05
Maryland House Committee Rejects Legislation

The Maryland House of Delegates, Ways and Means Committee voted to rejected legislation which would have prohibited tackling in football and heading in soccer by kids in elementary and middle school.
The Baltimore Sun

2018-03-01
Under 12 Tackle Football Ban Passes House Committee In Illinois

The Dave Duerson Act (House Bill 4341) passed out of the Illinois House mental health committee on an 11-9 vote. The bill will now pass to the full House for a full debate and vote.
The State Journal Register

2018-02-09
Bill Filed In Maryland General Assembly

State Del. Terri Hill files a bill in the Maryland General Assembly to ban tackle football for children under 14.
Baltimore Sun

2018-02-08
Safe Youth Football Act (California)

Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento) and Lorena Gonzales Fletcher (D – San Diego) announce the “Safe Youth Football Act” to protect children from brain injury by establishing a minimum age to play in organized tackle football programs.
Press Release

2018-01-25
Dave Duerson Act To Prevent CTE (Illinois)

State Rep. Carol Sente announces the “The Dave Duerson Act to Prevent CTE”, which proposes to ban tackle football for children under the age of 12 in the state of Illinois.
Sports Illustrated

2018-01-24
John Mackey Youth Football Protection Act (New York)

Assemblyman Michael Bennedetto announces the “John Mackey Youth Football Protection Act”, which proposes to ban tackle football for children under the age of 12 in the state of New York.
New York Times

About The Authors

This information was compiled by Shana De Caro & Michael V. Kaplen to impart significant material on legislative proposals to restrict tackle football and prevent brain injury and brain damage in our nation’s youth.

The authors were amicus counsel to the Brain Injury Association of America and wrote the amicus briefs on behalf of the Association to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court opposing the NFL class action brain injury settlement proposal. Shana De Caro is the secretary and member of the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of America. Michael V. Kaplen chairs the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council and is past president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State. They have each chaired the Traumatic Brain
Injury Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, are co-authors of the “Current Issues in Neurolaw” Chapter in Traumatic Brain Injury: Defining Best Practice, Psychiatric Clinics of North America, and serve on the Board of Directors of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers

Press/Media Inquiries

The partners at De Caro & Kaplen are available for comment on news and developments in tackle football legislation. See our press & media page for more details.

All Graphics and information included on this page may be republished with link attribution to:
https://brainlaw.com/youth-tackle-football/

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