By: Anne Marie Ellis
It appears that football bans are slowly dying. As I previously discussed, California, along with Illinois, New York, and Maryland proposed bills to ban tackling in youth football earlier this year. Please see Law360 article on changes for youth football here. However, there now seems to be a shift in the tide across the country from the aggressive stance taken at the beginning of the year by many states.
As of April 27, 2018, the Safe Football Act will not make it to a committee vote in California. Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, who originally cosponsored the bill, has pulled the bill according to the Southern California Football Coaches Association.
As of April 20, 2018, the Illinois bill to ban youth football for those under 12 will not be called for a vote this session. The Dave Duerson Act in Illinois, named after the former Chicago Bears player who was diagnosed with CTE after taking his own life. The sponsor, Rep. Carol Sente said that parents and taxpayers need more time to absorb the evidence. However, the bill may still be voted on in the fall.
In early March 2018, a Maryland House of Delegates committee voted down a proposal to prohibit tackling in football and heading in soccer by children in elementary and middle school. The bill’s sponsor was a doctor, who stated that he did not expect the bill to pass, but thought it was a conversation that needed to happen.
The bill to ban tackle football in the New York legislature that would bar youth tackle football for children under 12 years old has not yet been withdrawn.
We expect to see more changes on the horizon for youth sports and will continue to update you on those developments.