Student Well-Being

Illinois House Panel Halts Bill to Limit Tackling in Youth Football

By Bryan Toporek — March 22, 2013 1 min read

An Illinois House committee voted on March 21 to table a bill that would have placed a limit on the number of full-contact practices allowed by youth-football coaches.

In the initial bill filed by State Rep. Carol Sente, school boards would have been required to adopt a policy that limited tackling in youth-football practices to no more than once per week. Sente based her legislation upon the growing body of sports-concussion research that suggests student-athletes who return too quickly from a concussion could be at risk of further injury or even death.

The state House’s Elementary and Secondary Education Committee amended the original bill to specifically define “full-contact hitting practices” as “full-pad (helmet, shoulder pads, padded pants, and cleats), full-speed, football practice that involves tackling to the ground.” Under the amendment, starting May 31, 2014, coaches would have been prohibited from conducting more than two full-contact hitting practices per week during the regular season.

The amendment offered no restriction on the number of full-contact hitting practices during the preseason, but full-contact practices would have been strictly prohibited during the off-season and during summer camp.

While former Chicago Bear linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer threw his support behind the bill, according to the

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.