Posted by 30 October 2019
With growing evidence linking tackle football to problems later in life, New York legislators are considering a bill that would ban the game for children 12 and younger.
Under legislation being considered by a New York Assembly committee, children in New York who are 12 or younger could not play tackle football. They would be limited to the non-tackle version of the game. A similar bill was introduced in 2017, but it failed to pass the legislature.
This week legislators heard testimony about the bill. Supporters said that it would prevent brain injuries which can take decades to manifest. They point to a recent study showing that the longer someone played tackle football as a child the more likely they are to develop degenerative brain diseases. Opponents say this is not something the government should be dictating. They argue that coaches and youth football leagues are putting safety measures in place to prevent injuries, and that parents should have the right to choose the type of sport that their child plays.
It is unclear if this bill has enough support to advance out of committee and to a full legislative vote this year. However, with studies accumulating that find links between football and brain injuries, there is more momentum behind the bill this year than in the past.
Other states are also considering bills that would ban or limit tackle football for young athletes. No state has passed a ban yet, however.
Do you think that tackle football should be banned for children 12 or younger?