youth football

The Liberty Ranch Jr. Hawks compete in a home game in 2018. With a new bill signed into law on July 31, full-contact practices for youth football will be limited.

The future of youth football practices will be seeing less full-contact time on the field starting with the 2021 season.

According to a press release by Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove)’s office, Assembly Bill 1 was signed into law on July 31 by Governor Gavin Newsom. Assembly Bill 1, also known as the California Youth Football Act, will enact safety standards for youth football, limiting full-contact practices to reduce brain injuries.

“California is leading the nation in setting the bar on the importance of protecting children from brain injuries while playing contact sports,” said Assemblymember Jim Cooper. “I applaud Governor Newsom for signing the California Youth Football Act into law. It sets the most comprehensive youth football safety standards in the nation.”

Assembly Bill 1 will limit full-contact practices for youth football teams to no more than 30 minutes per day for no more than two days per week. The bill also bans full-contact practices for youth football teams during the offseason.

In 2014, California enacted standards to improve the safety of high school students participating in tackle football (AB 2127, Chapter 165, Statutes of 2014). Assembly Bill 1 extends similar safety protection standards to youth tackle football.

Additionally, the California Youth Football Act requires concussion education, coach training, and injury tackling protocols. As well as a medical professional to be present for all games and an independent person to attend all practices with the authority to remove players who show signs of an injury.

“The California Youth Football Act represents a new era for youth tackle football, with a focus on safety and performance, that will pave the way for future generations of Americans to continue benefitting from the sport,” said Joe Rafter, president of the California Youth Football Alliance. “It’s been an honor for our organization to partner with Assemblyman Jim Cooper and his staff to set statewide safety standard for youth tackle football.”

Assembly Bill 1 was sponsored by the California Youth Football Alliance and will take effect Janp 1, 2021.