New England Patriots

By Matt McCarthy,

Two Massachusetts lawmakers have introduced a bill on Beacon Hill that aims to ban tackle football at the youth level in the state.

State Rep. Paul Schmid (D-Westport) and House Minority Leader Brad Jones (R-North Reading) have filed a piece of legislation called “An Act for no organized head impacts to schoolchildren” which would not allow tackle football for any children below 7th grade.

Other forms of football, such as flag or touch, would be allowed.

The proposal comes amid growing concerns about head injuries, concussions, and CTE, particularly at the youth level.

“Soccer has age restrictions for head contact. Lacrosse has age restrictions. Hockey has age restrictions for head contact. Football doesn’t,” Schmid told The Fall River Herald News.

At least 15 other lawmakers from both parties have co-sponsored the bill. Gov. Charlie Baker has not signaled whether or not he would support the legislation.

The bill has yet to be assigned to a House committee for additional review. If it were to make it through committee and pass a vote before the full House, the proposal would then move on to the Massachusetts State Senate.

If passed, Massachusetts would be the first state to legislate tackle football age restrictions.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.