NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. — State lawmakers have been discussing the idea of banning tackle football for any child under the age of 12.

On Saturday, some local coaches, parents and lawmakers rallied against that push in youth tackle football.

That rally, hosted by assemblyman Angelo Morinello and Senator Robert Ortt, was held at Rescue Fire Hall in North Tonawanda.

Coaches and parents said that they believe the ban is unnecessary and that tackling is a fundamental part of the game.

Lawmakers added that learning proper safety techniques early on will help during competitive play as they get older.

"Let's find ways to improve it, not take it away," said Scott Myers, the president of Lancaster Youth Football. "People want it. People want it, and it can be done safely. To compare this to smoking for example is ludicrous. There are ways that this can be done safely."

This move followed a Boston University study that reported kids who play tackle football before age 12 have cognitive, behavioral and mood problems more than kids who played after the age of 12.

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