Football Canada Bans Full-Squad Tackle Youth Football
In a significant message to the sport of football in North America, Football Canada, the sanctioning body for American football in the country, has approved a full-squad tackle football ban for kids under 13 starting in 2022.
Tackle football participation in the country has dwindled considerably in recent years amidst rising awareness of the impact of head trauma on brain health.
“Support for football in this country is underwhelming and disappointing… at times it can feel like it’s under attack,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie told a recent Canadian government hearing on sports concussions. He says 100,000 Canadian youth play football, down 40 percent over past decade.
According to a report in Yahoo Sports, Ambrosie said the CFL and Football Canada were instead focusing youth efforts on flag football.
The tackle football ban applies to 12-on-12 games (Canadian tackle football as an extra player on the field). Kids from 10-12-years old will still be allowed to play tackle football in 6-on-6 and 9-on-9 leagues. Players eight-and-under are currently banned from playing tackle football.
During his speech to the Canadian government Ambrosie also asked for funding for mental health evaluations of all Canadian Football League players.