LA84 Foundation introduced guidelines today that would favor youth football leagues that delay tackling until participants are at least 8.
The foundation supports youth sports with grants using surplus profits from the 1984 Olympics Games in Los Angeles.
"We wanted to make sure that the safety of the players was utmost priority for the football organizations we fund," LA84 vice president of grants and programs Patrick Escobar told KPCC.
If youth football leagues want continued funding from the charitable organization, then they must take steps to limit head injuries according to the new guidelines:
Youth Football Organizations: The safety of the athlete is a priority of the Foundation. Recognizing that youth football can be made safer for participants, the Foundation will give priority to organizations that have adopted the following best practices:
- Require training of all tackle coaches in the Bobby Hosea Train ‘Em Up Academy “helmet-free” tackling method or the USA Football Heads Up training.
- Distribute information regarding the dangers of concussions to parents, coaches and players.
- Provide flag football for children 6 to 7 year old and offer tackle no earlier than age 8.
- In pre-season, no physical contact is allowed. Spring practices are to be used for conditioning, strength training, skill development and recruitment.
- In regular season 2-hour practices, the first 90 minutes should be non-contact or limited contact and the last 30 minutes can be full speed contact, but no more than a total 90 minutes per week. No full speed head-on blocking or tackling drills in which the players line up more than 3 yards apart are permitted. Chop blocking, face tackling or spearing techniques are strictly prohibited.
- Have trained personnel as safety monitors at practices to help identify concussion or other injuries.
- Have trained medics at all games.
In 1985, the LA84 Foundation received $93 million in Olympics profits. That money was invested. About $214 million has been disbursed to sports programs, serving more than 3 million youth in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Imperial, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.