California Could Become First State to Bar Organized Tackle Football Before High School

California would become the first state to prohibit minors from playing organized tackle football before high school under a proposal made Thursday by lawmakers concerned about the health risks.

The LAPD-coached youth football team Watts Bears (in white) pursue a member of the Southern California Falcons during a 2013 game. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The LAPD-coached youth football team Watts Bears (in white) pursue a member of the Southern California Falcons during a 2013 game. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Just days after the Super Bowl, Assembly members Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) said Thursday they are introducing the “Safe Youth Football Act,” legislation that will be considered this year by state lawmakers.

Under the bill, organized tackle football would be allowed starting with high school freshmen.

The lawmakers said they were following advice of medical professionals who believe limiting tackle football would help prevent young athletes from sustaining long-term brain damage caused by repetitive tackling, hitting and blocking.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.