WXXI Local Stories
Wed February 13, 2013
Proposed Legislation Pushes to Ban Youth Football
The president of one local football league calls the ban on young kids playing football a "knee jerking" reaction.
A downstate legislator recently introduced a bill that would prohibit children under the age of 11 from participating in tackle football because of the possibility of head injuries.
Brian LaFountain, of the Brighton Junior Barons, says the argument of concussions in football is legitimate. However, he adds the benefits of teaching kids about teamwork and building confidence outweighs those negatives.
"At that age, it's not just about tackling anyway," LaFountain says. "It's about teaching them the fundamentals and teaching them the skill positions and the skills. Its not about just tackling.
LaFountain says kids are most likely injured during practice here they spend the majority of their time.
"The key is during that 2 hours, perhaps, ... only 30 minutes is full contact drills," LaFountain explains. "So that's, what? Twenty-five percent of the time - something like that. That guideline is what you use so the other hour and a half you're going over plays, you're going over strategies, you're going over the fundamentals rather than tackling each other full speed."
LaFountain says if his coaches suspect a head injury of one of their players, they take the child's helmet away so they can't return to the game.
During the Brighton Junior Baron's past season LaFountain says 3 to 4 children were suspected to have concussions.
Medical experts say there is more that we don’t know about the effects of head injuries.