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California Limits Full Contact Football for Students


Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB2127 which limits, but does not eliminate full contact football practices for middle and high school students. The growing concern over concussions and the long-term impact of head injuries highlighted by the NFL has spurred many states to take action.

Highlights of the new law include:

Section 35179.5 is added to the California Education Code, to read:

(a) (1) If a school district, charter school, or private school elects to offer an athletic program, it shall comply with all of the following:
(A) A high school or middle school football team shall not conduct more than two full-contact practices per week during the preseason and regular season.
(B) The full-contact portion of a practice shall not exceed 90 minutes in any single day.
(C) A high school or middle school football team shall not hold a full-contact practice during the off-season.
(2) For purposes of this section, a team camp session shall be deemed to be a practice.
(b) The California Interscholastic Federation is urged to develop and adopt rules to implement this section.
(c) As used in this section:
(1) "Full-contact practice" means a practice where drills or live action is conducted that involves collisions at game speed, where players execute tackles and other activity that is typical of an actual tackle football game.
(2) "Off-season" means a period extending from the end of the regular season until 30 days before the commencement of the next regular season.
(3) "Preseason" means a period of 30 days before the commencement of the regular season.
(4) "Regular season" means the period from the first interscholastic football game or scrimmage until the completion of the final interscholastic football game of that season.
(d) This section shall not prohibit the California Interscholastic Federation, an interscholastic athletic league, a school, a school district, or any other appropriate entity from adopting and enforcing rules intended to provide a higher standard of safety for athletes than the standard established under this section.

To learn more, read the complete bill as written and amended by the California Legislature

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