New York State Looking to Ban Tackle Football for Kids 12 and Under
New York legislators are currently hearing testimony about a proposed ban on tackle football for kids under the age of 12.
Members of the state Assembly's Health Committee listened to testimony from people in favor of and opposed to the ban. One of those opposed is a former physician who says early dementia forced him to give up his practice. He testified that his doctors feel the dementia was brought on by brain injuries he received while a football player.
There has been a lot of discussion about chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, the result of the repeated head trauma sustained by college and NFL football players, but many parents don't think the forces sustained in a child's football game can be compared to those sustained at the college and NFL level.
New data disputes that assumption.
"Boston University School of Medicine recently released a new study that found the more years children play youth football, the more likely they are to suffer from the degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy," reports the New York Post.
Pop Warner Football is the organization behind a majority of youth football in Central New York doesn't believe a ban is the right solution. A statement on their website says "We do not agree that banning youth football is an appropriate response to concerns about player safety. Parents, not the government, should decide whether their child plays football or any other sport."
In addition, Pop Warner point to changes in the sport to increase player safety, "Pop Warner football is safer today than at any point in our history, thanks to mandated coaching education, greater awareness of concussions, a changing culture inside the sport and the most stringent rules in the sport."
What do you think? As more data become available about the dangers of CTE, and in light of the recent study by Boston University, should tackle football be banned in NY for kids under 12? Let me know, firstname.lastname@example.org