Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law limiting full-contact practices for California’s high school football teams and other youth programs to reduce brain injuries.
State law already limits full-contact practices for high school and middle school football teams to no more than 90 minutes per day, twice per week.
Wednesday, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law to limit full-contact practices for youth football teams to no more than 30 minutes per day for two days per week. The law bans full-contact practices for youth football teams during the offseason.
The law also requires a medical professional be present for all games and an independent person attend all practices with the authority to remove players who show signs of an injury.
Law Aimed at Preventing CTE
The law is aimed at preventing a degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Researchers are studying the diseases’ link to frequent blows to the head, which occur more often in sports like football.
Results of a recent study, released earlier this year, indicate crippling brain injury from football can start early, even among high school players. And its effects can last over time, even without additional impacts to the head.
The research, done at Boston University’s School of Medicine CTE Center, determined football players can develop after playing high school football, although higher rates of CTE are tied to college and pro football.
The NFL and NCAA have changed the rules in recent years in an attempt to reduce head injuries. Last year, Democratic Assemblyman Kevin McCarty introduced a bill that would have banned anyone from playing organized tackle football younger than 12. That bill did not pass.
The law Newsom signed is authored by Democratic Assemblyman Jim Cooper, who represents Elk Grove.