Massachusetts lawmakers propose to remove tackling out of youth football


State lawmakers have proposed a bill to take the tackling out of youth football. 

One player 22News spoke with said getting rid of tackling would make the game less fun while one coach said such a law would be a step in the right direction. 

No matter the age or size, when it comes to football, tackling is part of the game. But, it’s a part of the game that state lawmakers would like to change.

The bill proposes that no child in grade seven or under shall play, practice or participate in organized tackle football.

The proposal is based on research that suggests kids taking too many hits at a young age could lead to serious health issues in the future. 

Rule changes have already been made at the national level for youth football. 

Earlier this month, Pop Warner became the first national football program at any level to eliminate the three-point stance and banned kickoffs for youth teams up to 6th grade. 

One Springfield Central High School player told 22News tackling at a young age helped prepare him for high school football. 

“It definitely did, having that experience of tackling and knowing what I’m doing,” said Trey Brower. “Instead of going into a tackle 50/50 you’re going to get hurt. If you have that confidence and experience you won’t get hurt.” 

The Springfield Central High School Head Coach Valdamar Brower said he supports the bill, but he thinks coaches should teach safer forms of tackling. 

“Improving safety, enrollment, and numbers, it would help Massachusetts football in the future,” said Coach Brower. “You will still have the opportunity to learn how to tackle and other fundamentals. Other things there will have to be other ways to learn it and teach it and be ready for that 8th-grade year for tackle football.” 

If the bill becomes law, schools or leagues could be fined $2,000 for each violation.

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