California lawmakers on Thursday approved legislation that restricts football practices in an attempt to reduce concussions and brain injuries to student athletes.
The Senate sent Gov. Jerry Brown the measure that would prohibit high school and middle school football teams from holding full-contact practices during the off-season and bar them from conducting more than two full-contact practices per week during the season.
AB 2127 by Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) also would prohibit teams from holding full-contact practices that exceed 90 minutes on a single day and would require an athlete who has sustained a head injury or concussion to complete a supervised return-to-play protocol of at least seven days.
Nearly 4 million high school students nationwide suffer head injuries every year, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The measure is supported by the American Academy of Neurology, the Brain Injury Assn. of California and the
“Academic studies have shown that the cumulative effects of sub-concussive blows to the brain experienced during football may contribute to long-term brain damage and early-onset
Five Republicans include Sen.
It also could mean fewer California high school players getting college scholarships, he said. "It distinctly puts our kids in California at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting," Knight said.
The measure is opposed by the California Medical Assn., which said in a statement to lawmakers that the bill's intent was "laudable," but that it could allow "some licensed healthcare providers without the proper training in concussions and neurology to perform these assessments."
The Senate on Thursday also approved a measure that would designate the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) as the official state amphibian.