Saturday, May 30, 2020
US flag

Md. moves to keep young kids safe from football

Now under consideration in the Maryland General Assembly is a bill that would make it illegal for students younger than high school to play tackle football on public fields—those owned or operated by the state or another governmental unit—the Baltimore Sun reports.

The Sun says the bill was filed by state Sen William C Smith Jr, of Montgomery County, and would still allow eighth graders and younger students to play the game on private property, but private leagues wouldn’t be able to rent public fields to play.

It was reportedly written with the help of Madieu Williams, a former football player from the University of Maryland and the Cincinnati Bengals. The fields on which younger students could play other contact sports, such as lacrosse and soccer, would also be restricted.

“This is about a vulnerable population and developing brains,” Dr Terri Hill, a surgeon serving in the House of Delegates, was quoted as saying. Dr Hill presented the idea to Mr Smith, who is a lawyer. “It’s a public health issue. … Little kids don’t know what to look for,” she added, referring to the documented proof that younger children often can’t recognize the signs and symptoms of brain injuries, including concussions or sub-concussive blows that accumulate over the years of playing the sports.

Mr Smith also has a hearing for another contact sports-related bill on February 28 before the Senate’s Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee. SB 840 (HB 552) would require the state’s education department to provide actual education for, not just awareness to, coaches, school personnel, students, and parents or guardians about concussions and head injuries. It would also require an individual who has completed concussion risk and management training or who is a licensed health care provider to be responsible for on-site management of all concussions and head injuries during each practice and game.

Voxitatis has frequently noted changes to football tackling and contact practice rules and to soccer, where some states and leagues don’t allow children under 11 to advance the ball with headers, in response to a growing body of research that traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, have degenerative effects on people’s lives. Cognitive function becomes impaired, and young brains, which are still developing, are the most vulnerable.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Voxitatis congratulates the COVID Class of 2020

2020 is unique and, for high school graduates, different from anything they've seen. Proms, spring sports, & many graduation ceremonies are cancelled. Time for something new.

Vertical addition (m3.nbt.2) math practice

3rd grade, numbers and operations in base 10, 2, 3-digit vertical addition practice problem

Rubber ducks (m3.oa.1) math practice

3rd grade, operational and algebraic thinking, 1, rubber ducky modeling practice problem

Distance learning begins as Covid-19 thrives

What we learn during & from coronavirus, a challenging & imminent crisis, will provide insights into so many aspects of our lives.

Calif. h.s. choir sings with social distancing

Performances with the assistance of technology can spread inspiration across the globe even as the coronavirus spreads illness and disease.

Families plan to stay healthy during closures

Although schools are doing what they can to keep students learning and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, that duty now shifts to parents.

Illinois temporarily closes all schools

IL schools will be closed on Tuesday, March 17, through at least March 30. Schools in 18 states are now closed due to coronavirus.

Coronavirus closures & cancellations

Many schools are closed and sports tournaments cancelled across America during what the president called a national emergency: coronavirus.

Coronavirus closes schools in Seattle

The coronavirus pandemic has caused colleges to cancel classes, and now Seattle Public Schools became the nation's first large district to cancel classes due to the virus.

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.