Calif. lawmakers propose banning under-12 tackle football

The ban would take effect in 2026 and phase-in through 2029 if approved by lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom.

California lawmakers are debating on whether or not to ban tackle football for children under 12.

Driving the news: The bill, Assembly Bill 734, authored by Democratic Asm. Kevin McCarty, was approved out of its first committee on Wednesday.


  • If passed, the ban would not take effect until 2026, with proposed amendments gradually phasing in implementation through 2029.
  • Advocates argue that tackle football causes brain damage, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which leads to the death of nerve cells in the brain.
  • California already has laws in place that ban full-contact practices for high school and youth football teams during the offseason and impose limits during the preseason and regular season.

What they’re saying: “There are certain things that just aren’t safe for younger people,” McCarthy told KCRA. “Banging your brains around for little kids just isn’t safe.”

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