Legislation to ban youth tackle football in California ends in state house committee

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There’s a lot of excitement across California as the result of a tweet Thursday night announcing that the bill called “Safe Football Act” was pulled from from a vote in the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee in Sacramento, thus ending, the push to ban tackle football for children under the age of twelve. The announcement came via Save California Football (@SaveCAFootball).

“We are very excited that the author of this bill decided to kill it before it was heard in the Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media on May 1,” said Chris Fore, a lifelong high school football coach and administrator who was an early supporter of the movement against the legislation. “The Committee suggested amendments to the bill after meeting members of the Save Youth Football Coalition (Todd Bloomstine, Ron White, Jason Ingman, and Joe Rafter) as well as leadership from USA Football and Pop Warner. This took a total team effort from youth football leaders all up and down the state. It’s a great day for the future of youth tackle football here in California.”

The original bill, that was submitted February 7, called for no tackle football until high school, but was then reduced from 9th grade to the age of 12. Neither of the bill’s sponsors — Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) — have made public comment on why the bill wasn’t brought to a vote in committee, although it is believed there weren’t enough votes on the seven-person committee in favor of the legislation.

At the writing of this story, nearly 46,000 people signed a petition at Change.org against the legislations.

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Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.