Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gov Signs Bill To Limit Football Contact Practices

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation limiting full-contact football practice for California teams, it was announced Monday.
The legislation comes amid increasing concern about head injuries in football. Assembly Bill 2127, presented by Assemblyman Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, prohibits middle school and high school football teams from holding full-contact practices during the off-season and limits them to no more than two full-contact practices per week during the preseason and regular season.
The Sacramento Bee reports today that 19 other states have banned full-contact high school football practices in the off-season. According to Will DeBoard of the Sac-Joaquin Section, the state of Texas has passed similar legislation that allows teams only 45 minutes of full contact drills a week during the season.
Locally, our almost all of the high school football teams participate in full-contact summer camps. Stripping them of this kind of workout is likely going to affect the teams, which use these camps to determine who their players are going to be and allow them to install their offensive and defensive schemes. Elk Grove head coach Chris Nixon thinks eliminating the summer contact camps will set back the younger players from developing their football skills quicker.
In talking today with not only Nixon, but Laguna Creek's head coach Dave Morton, as well, the two  practices a week rule is actually more than they currently do with their squads. Morton said once the season begins he has his players just make contact during drills but never bring down a ball carrier or receiver.

Nixon said he runs practices similarly once the season has begun. He's concerned, though, about the limitation of full contact drills during the pre-season and how that will affect the quality of play.

DeBoard admitted that this new legislation, set to take effect Jan. 1, 2015, needs to be more specific and that will be the job of the State CIF Board of Directors between now and then. As Nixon said, "How do you define 'full contact?' Is that actually hitting each other or does this mean a practice with everyone in full gear? That will need to be defined."

Morton quipped: "I think there's more important things for the government to do than tell me how many times my boys can hit heads every week." And, though he thinks the new law won't affect how he coaches football at Laguna Creek - he doesn't take his players to a team camp - Morton knows this is a good step in the right direction.

"It's good they are trying to bring back high school football as it should be instead of trying to make it a business," he said. 

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/21/6571618/jerry-brown-signs-bill-limiting.html#storylink=cpy

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