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Pallone on USA Football Rules Changes to Address Safety

Jan 31, 2017
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statement today upon reports that USA Football, the national governing body for amateur football, will make several changes to the rules and format for youth football in an effort to improve player safety and reduce the risks of long-term brain damage:

“Parents across the country are rightfully concerned about protecting their kids from the risks of concussions and sports-related head trauma in football and other sports,” Pallone said.  “Today’s announcement from USA Football on updates to the rules and format for youth football are a good first step, and a welcome response to our request for change last year.  We must also continue to invest in scientific research to better understand the long-term impacts of repetitive head trauma on athletes of all ages.” 

In May of last year, prior to an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on concussions in youth sports, Pallone joined Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in asking USA Football and other youth leagues how they plan to prevent and mitigate the risks of degenerative brain disorders for student-athletes.  The Energy and Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over both domestic and international sports.