Lawmakers hold public hearing on youth tackle football Tuesday

BOSTON — Lawmakers on Beacon Hill held a public hearing on whether to ban tackle football for children under the age of 14.

Massachusetts is now the seventh state to consider banning it for children before the eighth grade, but no other state has been able to get the legislation passed.

The bill, called the Hits to the Head Bill, being discussed would fine any school or league up to $10,000 if they're caught playing tackle football and a child gets seriously injured.

Among those who testified were two concussion experts from Boston University where a recent study found that kids who start playing tackle football at the age of five, are ten times more likely to develop CTE than those who wait until they are fourteen.

"I understand the parents are upset. They don't want to be told what to do, but this isn't about them. This is about their kids," Concussion Legacy Foundation Co-Founder Chris Nowinski said. "You are a bad parent if you choose to continue to put your child in tackle football before the age of 13 -- now that we have this data."

Nowinski said some of the latest information coming out on brain injuries is a line in the sand and parents should understand the latest science before making a decision on tackle football.

Representatives from Pop Warner football were also in attendance to testify.

"First and foremost it is my choice, as a parent, to decide what is best for my child," Pop Warner mom Joyce Spiegel told Boston 25 News. "I argue that starting football in eighth grade when bodies are changing -- hormones are raging -- it's detrimental for them to start later."