Sport: APNewsBreak: Illinois youth tackle football ban dead for now - PressFrom - US
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Sport APNewsBreak: Illinois youth tackle football ban dead for now

23:26  18 april  2018
23:26  18 april  2018 Source:   ap.org

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A proposal aimed at delaying the effects of helmet-banging head trauma by banning Illinois children younger than 12 from playing tackle football lacks the Opposition to restrictions on America’s most popular sport stifled it for now . Sente, a Vernon Hills Democrat, said she will not call the legislation for

The Chicago-based Pop Warner youth football program criticized the plan. “Pop Warner football is safer today than it ever has been in its 90-year history, thanks to mandated coaching education, stringent new rules, a changing culture inside the game and greater awareness around concussions

State Rep. Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills, the sponsor of a proposal to ban Illinois children younger than 12 from playing tackle football speaks to The Associated Press Wednesday, April 18, 2018, in Springfield, Ill. Sente said the measure lacks the votes to pass this session. She said she will focus on educating people about the dangers of © The Associated Press State Rep. Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills, the sponsor of a proposal to ban Illinois children younger than 12 from playing tackle football speaks to The Associated Press Wednesday, April 18, 2018, in Springfield, Ill. Sente said the measure lacks the votes to pass this session. She said she will focus on educating people about the dangers of "repeated ... hits to the youth brain." (AP Photo/John O'Connor)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The sponsor of a proposal to ban Illinois children younger than 12 from playing tackle football told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the measure aimed at delaying the effects of helmet-banging head trauma lacks the votes to pass this session.

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Replacing youth tackle football with flag football might not make our children safer. Are we seriously convinced that taking away helmets is going to Illinois just narrowly avoided disaster, but three other states (New York, New Jersey and California) are still considering legislation banning youth tackle

The fight to put an end to youth football needed a recognizable name behind it. Brett Favre has put his name behind an Illinois bill that would ban tackle football for kids under the age of 12. “I think it’s going to take someone who has poured his blood, sweat and tears into it,” Favre told the Daily Mail.

Rep. Carol Sente, a Vernon Hills Democrat, said parents and taxpayers "need more time to absorb the evidence" of a link between repeated blows to the brain and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a dementia-like, degenerative disease characterized by memory loss, violent urges, depression and other cognitive troubles.

Prominent ex-football players have died by suicide, and others who are living blame their brain-related dysfunctions on CTE. Sente's legislation is named for former Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson, who took his own life at age 50 in 2011 but preserved his brain for research that ultimately revealed the markers of CTE.

Sente said she is pleased her push for the law at least fueled a discussion on the proposal.

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Despite the decline in youth football participation over the past decade, the sport remains the most popular in the country by many measures. Benedetto’s bill would ban the sport entirely for preteens, which would effectively shut down Pop Warner and other youth organizations in New York state.

"It became clear over the past 10 weeks that parents need more time to absorb the evidence that exists" linking repeated sub-concussive hits to a youth's brain to CTE, she said.

Fans of football, considered America's most popular sport, argue that children can be taught safe tackling techniques and Sente's proposal would delay key skill development and eliminate opportunities for the disadvantaged.

The Legislature isn't scheduled to adjourn until May 31. Sente could seek an extension to reporting rules and continue working on the roll call, but she said the "anger and vitriol" of parents and coaches around the state made it clear that lawmakers would struggle to vote "yes" on her measure even if they favor it.

Opponents believe that the decision about when a child takes to the gridiron should be left to parents. Some told Sente that CTE "is an NFL issue" that isn't relevant for the vast majority of football players who lack the talent to play in college or professional ranks.

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Less than a month after the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl , a group of Massachusetts lawmakers has proposed a bill that would ban organized youth tackle football until after seventh grade.

SportsPulse: While many sports are seeing rise in youth participation tackle football is seeing a dramatic drop in participation. Nancy Armour details the future of football in America and the NFL.

The Chicago-based Pop Warner youth football program criticized the plan.

"Pop Warner football is safer today than it ever has been in its 90-year history, thanks to mandated coaching education, stringent new rules, a changing culture inside the game and greater awareness around concussions," spokesman Brian Heffron said last month after Sente's measure won House committee approval. "Banning the sport for young people is not the answer to concerns anyone may have about the game."

Sente countered that children could develop necessary skills playing flag football or could choose from any number of off-field activities or hobbies.

Despite the Legislature's adjournment in May, the proposal stays alive until year's end. Lawmakers will gavel into session for two weeks late in the year and could consider it then, Sente said.

"This is cutting edge research that is evolving weekly," Sente said. "As the evidence reaches parents, I believe more individuals will delay when their child starts playing tackle football. If they don't have options like flag football, I believe in time parents and youth will steer away from football entirely."

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The bill is HB 4341.

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Contact Political Writer John O'Connor at https://twitter.com/apoconnor. His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/john%20o'connor

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Playing Youth Tackle Football Is Linked to Earlier Symptoms of Brain Disease .
Playing football professionally has been linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease. But what happens to children who start the sport early, before they even turn 12? That’s the question neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, whose groundbreaking work on CTE has uncovered the neurological risks of playing football, set out to answer in a new study published in the Annals of Neurology.

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