In an attempt to reduce the risk of concussions, California lawmakers have sent a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown that would prohibit middle and high school football teams from holding more than two full-contact practices per week.
AB 2127, which the Senate passed by a vote of 23-5 on Thursday, would also prohibit middle and high school football coaches from holding a full-contact practice during the offseason, and would limit them to only 90 minutes of full-contact practice on any given day during the preseason and regular season.
The Ivy League implemented a similar reduction in full-contact practices back in 2011, and the Pac-12 Conference announced its intention to follow suit last summer. In 2012, Pop Warner implemented a ban on coaches using more than one-third of practice time for contact drills. Even the National Football League has cut back on full-contact practices; its latest collective bargaining agreement restricts coaches to a total of 14 padded practices throughout the 17-week regular season, 11 of which must be held within the first 11 weeks of the season.
On the state level, the Maryland education department released recommendations last summer aiming to reduce the number of contact practices allowed for youth-athletes who participate in collision sports (not just football). Earlier this year, Connecticut lawmakers approved a bill that would expand the state’s youth-concussion law; however, a limit on practice time for contact sports failed to survive the legislative process.
One of the five state senators who voted against the bill, Sen. Steve Knight of Palmdale, told the
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.