SPRINGFIELD -- Football players could see some big changes at practice next fall. A state lawmaker wants them to cut back on tackling. She thinks they should only be allowed to do it once a week. WCIA-3's Brittany Harris finds out what area coaches think of the idea.
It's a sport known for its intensity. Now one lawmaker wants to tone that down. Representative Carol Sente (D) thinks tackling should be limited to once a week in practice. She says it will help prevent concussions and other head injuries.
"I think we need to leave this up to the people who really know what they're talking about, and that's the medical professionals."
Ken Leonard coaches the Sacred Heart Griffin Cyclones. He's been with the team for years.
"There's not nearly as much hitting as there used to be in practice."
And that's why he says it shouldn't be restricted.
"Football has changed so much, it's gotten so much safer. In tackling, it's about form, and if you just work on it one day a week, actually, that probably is more dangerous than doing it two or three days a week."
The coach says it's important to teach technique showing these guys how to hit with their shoulders, not their heads.
If something were to go wrong, "We have professional doctors and trainers on the sidelines."
Sente says she's not trying to change the game. She just wants to make it safer for players. But, Coach Leonard says they already do that.
"I've coached probably a couple thousand young men and we don't want anything bad to happen to them and we're not going to put them in harm's way."
The proposed tackling restrictions are nothing new. Some youth programs already limit hitting during practice. They're not the only ones. The NFL does as well.
Original: 10:12 pm, 2/1/13, Friday
SPRINGFIELD -- A state lawmaker wants to see some changes at your son's next football practice. The bill would force all school districts to limit tackling at practice to once a week.
She says concussions are becoming too big of a problem. The IHSA isn't a big fan of the idea. It says rules are already in place to prevent concussions.