U.S. Soccer: Headers banned for players under 11 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

U.S. Soccer: Headers banned for players under 11

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

Children under the age of 11 playing soccer should no longer be allowed to head the ball, according to a statement by U.S Soccer on Monday.

U.S. Soccer is the organization that makes rules for the sport in the United States. The statement said that children under the age of 10 should not head a soccer ball because of the risk of a concussion and heading a soccer ball should be limited to children between 11 and 13 years old.

Players participating in U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Teams and the Development Academy will be required to adhere to the new rules. While not required for all, the U.S. Soccer medical committee is highly recommending local organizations to adopt the new rules.

The changes resolve a proposed class action lawsuit by parents seeking changes to the sports rules, according to U.S. Soccer.

“Protecting the health and safety of athletes and preventing injuries is critically important to U.S. Soccer,” U.S. Soccer officials wrote in a statement. “U.S. Soccer has taken a lead in education, research and proposing rule changes to improve player safety for several years, and is looking forward to continuing in that leadership position with the release of the player safety campaign,” according to a statement by U.S. Soccer.”

The Concussion Legacy Foundation, an organization advocating for restrictions protecting people from concussions, Director Chris Nowinski calls this a win in a statement on Tuesday.   

“These guidelines are a major victory for the Safer Soccer campaign and a fantastic first step in making the world’s most popular sport safer to play for children,” Nowinski said. “Together the supporters of the Safer Soccer campaign showed there is widespread support for the elimination of headers for children, and U.S. Soccer heard our message.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control it's estimated that 3.8 million people suffer from a concussion each year.

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