Lawmakers in Massachusetts are looking to ban tackle football for all kids in the seventh grade or younger.
According to Huffington Post, the move is intended to prevent younger kids from suffering traumatic head injuries. The Act for No Organized Head Impacts to Schoolchildren, or the NO HITS Act, was introduced last month in an effort to protect children’s heads from blows while at a particularly vulnerable age.
“Soccer has age restrictions for head contact. Lacrosse has age restrictions. Hockey has age restrictions for head contact. Football doesn’t,” said 8th Bristol District state Rep. Paul A. Schmid III, who is co-sponsoring the bill with 20th Middlesex District state Rep. Bradley H. Jones Jr. “We otherwise wouldn’t want to get involved in youth sports, but it turns out (football) doesn’t have a national federation like those other sports.”
The bill allows for flag and touch football for seventh grade and below but would impose fines of up to $2,000 for each violation.
“It’s all about kids’ health and we have a number of studies that say that repeated contacts to the head are very bad for you and the younger that starts, the worse it is,” Schmid added.
A number of former NFL players, who have been directly or indirectly affected by CTE, have come out against tackle football for younger kids. Former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo and New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees have been particularly outspoken about their opposition.
Brees recently started a youth flag football league called Football ‘N’ America. Brees didn’t play tackle football until he was in high school.