Illinois Lawmaker seeks to limit tackling in HS Football Practice

Submitted by StephenRKass on February 11th, 2013 at 11:35 PM

Illinois State senator Carol Sente is proposing that High School football teams limit tackling in practice. LINK:,0,747478.story

Her bill proposes that high schools only allow tackling one practice during the week.

Mod edit: Yes, to use Hart20's words, this has been the day of controversy. I took away the party designation in the OP and posted the editorial parts as a comment in his name. Like anything else that straddles the political/sports line, tread lightly; do not use this as an opportunity to make a political point or make life harder on the other side of the political spectrum. JGB.



February 11th, 2013 at 11:48 PM ^

There seems to be solid/intuitive anecdotal evidence that practicing tackling from an early age is critical to preventing improper and dangerous techniques from risking players when they get bigger and the hitting gets harder.

But at the same time, I don't think it is useful or correct to dismiss growing concerns about the safety of football with the ole' "wussification of America" concept...


February 12th, 2013 at 12:35 AM ^

We had a number of athletic trainers pick up Rose Bowl rings as trainers for Texas and Michigan in the late 90s and early aughts. They all said that NU hit harder and more often than M or Texas ever did in practice. They said Texas did a lot more walk throughs and film but NU scrimmaged a lot more. Don't know if that kept up under Fitz or not.


February 12th, 2013 at 12:09 AM ^

it is not suprising for society to let fly a tiny minority of crazy people doing crazy things (x-games, mma, etc.) while at the same time show concern over the safety of average people doing mainstream things (football, biking with no helmet, etc). on top of that, i wouldn't be surprised if people are a lot more concerned about x-games now that a person died during competition...


February 12th, 2013 at 12:20 AM ^

when bernard pollard said that the rule changes in the nfl were going to lead to someone dying on the field, i thought he was wayyyyy off the mark.

but if something like this passed, and kids no longer learned how to tackle....yikes, i'd be way more scared about the safety of the players.

my verdict on the law (for anyone who cares):  intent-A+ execution-F


February 12th, 2013 at 12:25 AM ^

This would be a terrible mistake. Many coaches feel only practicing tackling once a week will lead to more injuries, not less. Players simply won't drill nearly enough to learn how to tackle the right way.

I don't think this bill is the answer, but many people feel there is a need to change football, to avoid youth head trauma. I have to wonder if there is something to be said for changing or removing the helmets, so that players are less likely to lead tackles with their helmet and head. My personal observation (at the Pop Warner level . . . son playing football with 11 & 12 year olds) is that there have been few to no concussions at that level.

There is something crazy about our society. On the one hand, you see more and more risk taking behavior in sports. Think, for instance, of the X-Games, or MMA, or other gladiator type combat. On the other hand, you can't ride a stinking bicycle around the block without the helmet police getting after you.


February 12th, 2013 at 8:03 AM ^

When's the last time you looked up helmet designs? They are constantly evolving with new pads, shapes, chin straps. For the high school team I coach there are 4 different types to choose from all certified and all claim to have the better concussion technology. The real problem is slowing the brain from rattling in your skull. Short of injecting a foam padding directly in the skull to absorb any shock. On second thought, someone do that. There i've fixed it we can all go home now.


February 12th, 2013 at 2:01 AM ^

....and we sittin here talkin about practice man....

in all seriousness, i think football is just buying time right now with all these rule changes, more protection and fines. The size and strength of the players is obviously much different than the past, mainly due to science. Nothing will impede the science, and if PEDs are created they are going to be used whether we like it or not. The sport can control speed though, through alteration of pads, shoes and field of play. Weighted pads/shoes? Playing in ankle high grass? Making the actual football heavier? The field marked with "push out of bounds" zones, "blocking" zones, "tackle" zones?? who knows


February 12th, 2013 at 3:54 AM ^

Politicians jump all over stuff like this to make a name for themselves. They also have tendencies to avoid really important decisions to not hurt their reputations.

Buck Killer

February 12th, 2013 at 6:22 AM ^

We seem to reward those that do. I agree that they do this to make a name for themselves. I need to do a better job of researching candidates before voting myself. It is hilarious when I hear people say "I'm a strict republican or I'm a strict democrat". So, I could dress some turd up, label him with a party, and you are happy with that choice. Sad, because the party doesn't always have a good choice.


February 12th, 2013 at 4:55 AM ^

I really feel sad about the direction this country is going in. Pretty soon all children will be required to wear helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads throughout the school day so as to prevent unnecessary boo-boos. Then they will all get gold stars to let them know that everyone in class tied for #1 student in the class. In theory, it sounds quite nice, but the problem is we live in REALITY. Really setting our kids up for an unpleasant wakeup call 20 years down the road.


February 12th, 2013 at 8:25 AM ^

Limiting tackling in practice makes a game more harmful to the athlete. There is a lot of fundamentals on tackling, you take that away and kids start tackling like corners do in the NFL vs the bigger guys of the NFL.

Wolverine Devotee

February 12th, 2013 at 8:25 AM ^

Politicians are just asking for it. They need to keep their dirty, grimy hands off of sports.

Once again, there are bigger problems to worry about. They need to stop telling people how to do their jobs.