The 2019 California Youth Football Act AB1 (Assembly Bill) is the first and most comprehensive set of youth tackle football safety standards in the United States. It follows safety standards that are consistent with those at the high school football level and, in short, aims to help reduce brain injuries among youth athletes. Specifically, the Act sets restrictions on the number of full-contact practice sessions and ultimately prioritizes youth football player safety via contact standards while incorporating many other notable safety regulations.
The Act showcases its commitment to youth athlete safety by emphasizing the importance of reduced full contact and the requirement of coach education, injury documentation and medical professional attendance at all games. Educated coaches can more effectively and knowledgeably support their players, while injury tracking ensures that players receive proper injury care and return to play at the appropriate time. Finally, regular medical professional attendance protects players in the event of injury through a concussion or head injury evaluation.
Finally, The California Youth Football Act requires that parents and guardians of youth tackle football players receive concussion and head injury information. Once an athlete has sustained a concussion, parents may lack the knowledge to recognize worsening symptoms, follow concussion management protocols, and comply with safe return-to-play guidelines. Research suggests that parents know less about concussion management than coaches so this requirement aims to bridge the knowledge gap and empower parents and guardians to educate themselves about athlete safety.
Click here to learn more about the California Youth Football Act.
- AB 1 information sheet. California Youth Football Alliance. (2019). Retrieved April 7, 2023, from https://www.cayfa.org/ab-1-info-sheet
- Cummings, B. (2019, August 2). New California youth football rules become law; what you need to know. KCRA. Retrieved April 10, 2023, from https://www.kcra.com/article/california-youth-football-rules-law-limit-full-contact-practices/28583081