Advocates for Youth Football will Take to the Capitol Steps Sunday

Youth football advocates have been mounting a head-on blitz ever since Assembly Bill 2108 was introduced earlier this year.

If it passes thousands of children across the state will not be allowed to play tackle football until the age of 12 beginning in the year 2020.

"I don't think these individuals who have written these bills have ever reached out to the youth football community to see what safety standards have been put into effect, what policies and procedures are being used to make the game safer," said Jason Ingman, a youth football advocate. "They're just relying on what they see on social media, on some television shows that really bring out the worst of youth football."

Concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy have been front and center in the media and Hollywood over the years. Now, politicians are making their push in five states, including California.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty has co-authored the "Safe Youth Football Act," citing numerous studies that children between the ages of 7 and 12 are at a significantly greater risk for neurological impairments later in life by playing tackle football because of the repeated blows to the head.

"I kind of feel like I'm outlawing apple pie in California," McCarty said. "But I think more and more parents, doctors, researchers, NFL legends think, 'You know what, maybe it doesn't make sense for our youngest kids to strap on a helmet and bang and hit their heads.'"

Molly Ibietatorremendia's two sons play youth football for the Indurkum Junior Tigers. She says if the bill passes her parental rights will be taken away.

"It frustrated me because I feel as a parent it's my right to choose what sport my kids play," she said.

"This is a parental rights issue," Ingman said. "No one is forcing kids to play football. All we're asking the legislature is do not take away their option."

Save Youth Football California has drawn up its own game plan to try and stop AB 2108. Its next play is literally right where this fight began -- on the north steps of the State Capitol Sunday afternoon.

"We really want to get the word out and then have them take that information and pass it on to their fellow football families. Again, without that grassroots effort this bill is going to move forward," Ingman said.

The first step for AB 2108 is to pass the Assembly committee in a couple weeks.

That's why those who support youth football are making so much noise right now.

"Because if it starts to gain momentum, there is a great possibility it might be lost," Ingman said.

"Science speaks for itself. So when we think that California ought to look at the science and base its policy on the facts," McCarty said.

The rally at the State Capitol in support of youth football happens this coming Sunday at 2 p.m.