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Ortt, Morinello oppose bill that would ban tackle football for children under 12

Two prominent Republican lawmakers in Niagara County are critical of a bill in the State Legislature that would ban tackle football for players under the age of 12. State Senator Robert Ortt and Assemblyman Angelo Morinello joined youth football players and coaches Saturday for a rally in opposition to the bill.

A Bronx Democrat in the Assembly is proposing the ban. The bill has been stalled in committee. But Morinello said it could move forward in next year's session.

Many parents have been steering their children away from football because of long-term health threats posed by concussions.

Coaches said they're taking steps to make sure football is safer for young children, including no tackling for players who are 6 and 7 years old.

“The banning of tackle football for New York’s youth athletes is wholly unnecessary,” Ortt said. “Tackling is a fundamental part of the game and learning the proper techniques is necessary for the safety of participants as they enter more competitive levels later on in life."