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Bakersfield man says he helped author bill limiting full contact practices for youth football teams

Posted: 7:04 AM, Aug 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-02 03:06:22-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A bill signed into law Wednesday by Governor Gavin Newsom, limiting full-contact practices for youth football teams, was written with the help of a Bakersfield man.

Ron White, the Executive Director of Golden Empire Youth Tackle Football and a member of the California Youth Football Alliance, told 23ABC Thursday the Alliance partnered with the office of Assemblyman Jim Cooper of Elk Grove, CA to sponsor the bill.

"Football is uniquely American," he said. "It's crucial that we have tackle football for young athletes."

The bill, which takes effect in 2021, centers around limited contact youth football. It limits full-contact practices to 30 minutes per day, twice a week. Full-contact practices are banned entirely during the off-season.

Coaches will also be majorly impacted by the new law.

"Coaches under AB-1 now will have to have coaching certification in blocking, tackling, defeating the block, heat awareness and concussion," White said. "All of those items that you would expect a coach to know about that's engaged in tackle football are elements of the bill."

Previous state law had limited full-contact practices for middle and high school football teams to 90 minutes per day, twice per week.

A medical professional will be present for all games and an independent person to attend all practices.

This will not apply to the Kern High School District or any high school level football in California, but will have effects on future high school students.

"We really believe that your first experience in tackle football should be your best," White said. "It starts at the youth level so who you're seeing playing at the high school level, we had them first."

The bill was in opposition of AB-2108, which would have banned youth football under the age of 12 in the state of California.

The state legislature approved the bill earlier this month with no opposition.