BURBANK (CBSLA) — In an effort to reduce brain injuries, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law new restrictions on full-contact football practice for middle and high school students.
The law — which goes into effect in 2021 — limits the amount of full-contact football practice for youth players from 90 minutes to 30 minutes two times per week.
“I think it’s gonna open up the doors for more injuries, because they’re not practicing enough,” Araz Araradian, whose son is the quarterback on the Burbank High School football team, said.
And while Araradian said he’s concerned about head injuries, he also said it’s part of growing up and playing sports.
“I played basketball and bounced my head off the hardwood a couple of times,” he said.
Other parents were concerned that the tight time limits don’t give the kids enough time to get warmed up before the tackling starts, but other parents are happy about the upcoming restrictions.
“Cutting down on the contact will do two things,” Bo Kane, a parent, said. “It’ll keep them safer from injury, and it’ll make them hungry so they will want to hit when they get out there.”
Along with limiting the amount of time for full-contact practice, the new law will also require an emergency medical technician or doctor must be at all games along with an independent person at all practices to pull injured players from the field.
“I think having a medical professional on the field is a good thing, because there’s a lot of little things that happen that can potentially add up to big things,” Araradian said. “But, overall I think it’s a money thing, and some of the areas that have money will be able to afford it some won’t. So you will see a migration from area to area where certain teams can afford luxuries that other teams won’t and you’ll see a drop in numbers. As it is there’s a drop in numbers.”
While there has been a small drop in kids playing football, according to the California Interscholastic Foundation, it remains the top sport.