Bill would reduce football tackling in practice

An Illinois lawmaker is proposing a bill that would limit the number of tackling practices that high school and middle schools can have in a week.

State Rep. Carol Sente is proposing a bill that would allow teams to have just one tackle practice during the week. Sente wants to cut the number of concussions that middle and high school athletes get from the sport.

“I think that’s what’s the fun part,” Moline football player Alex Frutiger said of the hitting. “It’s always been like that. There’s nothing that you can really do about it. If you love the game, that’s what you’re going to have to deal with.”

Moline Football Coach Matt Woods worries that the bill could lead to more concussions on Friday nights. Woods worries his kids may not get the right training if the state limits the amount of contact practices.

“You really want to teach proper technique,” Woods said. “You can’t just go watch a video or talk about how to do something, you really have to emphasize muscle memory and how to do it full speed.”

Woods says that his team only practices in pads two times a week, and the players say that’s the right amount. However, a recent study showed that the average high school player takes 700 blows to the head every year.

“If you don’t want to get hit, then you shouldn’t play football,” Frutiger said. “I mean that’s just the game.”

Both Illinois and Iowa already have concussion laws which limit players from coming back into games when they’re suspected of having a concussion. The bill has not been voted on by either the Illinois House or Senate. The bill is HB 1205.