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Viewers of this weekend’s AFC championship glimpsed a moving pre-game vignette of the game-winning quarterback tossing the pigskin as a kid. If an Empire State assemblyman has his way, New York children aspiring to be the next Peyton Manning would face a law prohibiting them from even participating in their passion.Michael Bennedetto has introduced legislation to ban tackle football for children under fourteen. The bill, which could subject Pop Warner coaches to fines, enjoys the support of five co-sponsors. Because nearly three-quarters of athletes participating in the sport do so at the sandlot level, the bill would ban the vast majority of tackle football played in the state.“No child thirteen years old or younger shall play, practice, or otherwise engage in organized tackle football,” decrees the bill forwarded by the Bronx Democrat. The five-term assemblyman advanced a similar bill last year. He then justified the legislation by telling the New York Daily News, “I want to protect the children.”But the data shows that youth football does a better job than ever of protecting the children. The latest annual report by the University of North Carolina’s National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research shows that annual fatalities at all levels of the sport from on-field collisions have declined from an average of more than twenty three in the 1960s to less than four during the last decade.Despite comprising the vast the majority of tackle football participants, youth players comprise just a tiny fraction of collision fatalities. For instance, during the decade from 2003 to 2012 a sandlot player died from a football hit every other season on average. Not only are the total youth player collision deaths dramatically lower than such fatalities among their high school and college counterparts, their fatality rate—given that there are around 3 million sandlot players competing—is dramatically lower, too. This fall, collisions killed more skateboarders in the city that Assemblyman Benedetto hails from than youth football players in all of the United States.