Bill looking to ban tackle football for children under 12 stalls in Senate

Bill looking to ban tackle football for children under 12 stalls in senate.

Some efforts to ban tackle football for children in Illinois under the age of 12 are stalling in Senate.

The Dave Duerson Act said its intention is to further protect children under the age of 12 in the sport from damaging brain injuries.

New protections are being put in place for football players on all levels after studies link repeated head trauma to the degenerative brain disease CTE.

"You're trying to do something to help kids and protect them. I don't have to ask everyone to realize I probably don't have 60 votes and the same in the senate," said Representative Carol Sente, (D)-Vernon Hills.

The act was spearheaded by Rep. Sente, who said it would have been a way to help children avoid early complications of CTE.

But football coaches here in central Illinois said they're already working to make sure the game is as safe as it can possibly be for their student athletes of all ages.

"Illinois High School Football Coaches Association and the Illinois Coaches Association is planning on trying to host some youth coaches summits. They have some coaches that realize what some of these incremental building blocks for safe, success and skill development are," Head Football Coach for Jacksonville High School Mark Grounds said.

Grounds also said having parents make the decision can benefit the athlete.

"I think parents need to have an informed decision and look at both sides of the situation," Grounds said.

Sente says she believes others will see the bill's importance.

"Parents will eventually come to this conclusion. Many of the editorial boards had said 'we agree with the concept. We just think parents should make the decision'," said Sente.

And will continue to fight for the safety of young athletes.

Sente is not seeking re-election this year. So, if there were to be another proposal like this one in the future, it would need a new legislative champion.

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