Delegate Hill is set to propose a bill banning tackle football for children under the age of 14

See the photo above…that may be coming to and end in Maryland soon. Here is more information from CBS Baltimore:

Should children under 14 be allowed to play tackle football?

It’s a question posed in the general assembly with potentially far-reaching implications for youth sports.

One Maryland lawmaker is set to propose a bill banning tackle football for children under the age of 14.

Del. Terri Hill, a Maryland House of Delegates member representing Baltimore and Howard Counties, is a medical doctor and sits on the Health and Government Operations Committee.

Dr. Hill wants state law to prohibit kids under the age of 14 from tackling in football, heading in soccer, and checking in lacrosse and hockey.

Her intent is to limit the risk of head injuries.

“In reality, what we’re trying to do is minimize the risk of kids getting these injuries, because the younger the brain, the more long-term damage we see,” Dr. Hill said.

It’s all in a day’s work for the pros, but the higher risk to kids has already caused both New York and Illinois to consider measures restricting how kids play the game.

Dr. Hill first introduced a bill requiring health care providers or people trained in assessing the risk and management of concussions to be present at games and practices.

“Kids are playing the same sport year round now, there’s no time for the body to rest, there’s no time for the brain to recover,” she explained. “And if we can be smarter about it, we can figure out how to make sure kids get all the benefits of playing athletics from the earliest ages on, and there are numerous advantages to that without putting them at risk for permanent damage to their brains.”

The under 14 prohibition bill will be introduced Monday night or Tuesday.

A hearing on the bill to require experts at games and practices is scheduled for February 15.

There is another article on the Baltimore Sun that has additional information:  https://wtop.com/maryland/2018/02/maryland-to-introduce-bill-to-ban-tackle-football-under-age-14/. At the end of that article it states:

Ultimately, Hill said the intent of both measures is to protect the health of the next generation. She said she’s been encouraged by the discussions she’s had, as well as by the reception among her peers.

“Both of these bills are designed for us to show greater appreciation for how fragile the brains of young people are and respecting that in terms of what kinds of activities we allow them to participate in,” she said.

“I’m really not hearing anyone so far that’s saying we should not do this.”

While I understand the first bill about having someone on the sidelines of games…I AM OPPOSED TO THIS BILL!  There ya go…you now have someone that is saying that this is a bad idea and should not be done.

When I told my kid about this…her first comment back to me was: “Do they not want anyone from Maryland playing in the NFL”? I got a good chuckle from her statement…but she is not wrong. Learning to tackle (and tackle the correct way) is an important part of football. While flag football can be useful for some positions, putting this restriction of not allowing kids to learn that skill until they get to high school puts them way behind kids in other states learning that skill in peewee leagues and Jr. High Schools.

I understand the want to protect our kids…but that should be the role of a parent…not the State in every case.

As noted above…this is expected to not only affect football…but also soccer and lacrosse and Hockey.  (I see Hockey is listed…there are other reports not listing hockey…I still have to wonder if filed hockey or other sports will be included. I wonder why other sports are not listed, specially hockey or filed hockey. Not that I am advocating for any of these to be included (I am advocating that this bill to be shot down)..but why those three sports and not others?

I am sure (and have read on social media) that many will not agree with me on this topic…but as someone that played in youth sports, I would hate to see that taken away from the kids here in Maryland.

Have thoughts on this topic? Let me know in the comments.

Scott E

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