U.S. Soccer: No heading for children 10 and under

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced a player safety campaign that eliminates heading for children 10 and under, and limits the amount of heading in practice for children ages of 11 to 13.

A U.S. Soccer release on Monday announced the resolution of the “Mehr” soccer concussion lawsuit, whose U.S. defendants were: USSF, United States Youth Soccer Association, American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), U.S. Club Soccer and the California Youth Soccer Association:

“The United States Soccer Federation and the other youth member defendants, with input from counsel for the plaintiffs, have developed a sweeping youth soccer initiative designed to:

“(a) improve concussion awareness and education among youth coaches, referees, parents and players;

“(b) implement more uniform concussion management and return-to-play protocols for youth players suspected of having suffered a concussion;

“(c) modify the substitution rules to insure such rules do not serve as an impediment to the evaluation of players who may have suffered a concussion during games

“(d) eliminate heading for children 10 and under and limit heading in practice for children between the ages of 11 and 13.”

"We are proud to be leaders in the areas of concussion education and management,” U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General Dan Flynn said in a statement. “The development of a player safety initiative was under way before the current lawsuit was filed. In constructing the concussion component, U.S. Soccer sought input from its medical science committee which includes experts in the field of concussion diagnosis and management, as well as from its technical advisors, and worked with its youth members to develop a true consensus-based program. We are pleased that the plaintiffs and their counsel recognize the steps we have taken and look forward to sharing the benefits of the youth concussion initiative with players, coaches, officials and parents."

The statement from Steve Berman, lead counsel for the plaintiffs: "We filed this litigation in effort to focus the attention of U.S. Soccer and its youth member organizations on the issue of concussions in youth soccer. With the development of the youth concussion initiative by U.S. Soccer and its youth members, we feel we have accomplished our primary goal and, therefore, do not see any need to continue the pursuit of the litigation. We are pleased that we were able to play a role in improving the safety of the sport for soccer-playing children in this country."



49 comments about "U.S. Soccer: No heading for children 10 and under ".
  1. Richard Brown, November 9, 2015 at 8:25 p.m.

    Ok if you wait too long before allowing heading they will be brain washed into thinking heading is bad. Start that late they will not be good at it when they get older. Because they will still be thinking that they should be hesitant about doing it.

    Start young teach them how to head the right way with progression exercises. Every header is not power heading. High bounce head down to bring it down to your foot or a receivers foot. Heading everything high does not bring the ball under control. Head down into space for someone else to run on to.

    If you play in Germany most coaches want you to use your head on every ball that you can score with. Like diving headers on low balls.

    Redirectional heading is not power heading either.

    So learn how to do it right your less likely to get hurt heading the ball. You have to learn how to protect the space your are going to head in. You can get hurt if you let opponents into that space. Start to late you won't know how to protect your space from someone who really knows how to head the ball.

    When will the player learn how to stand still in the air. You learn that when heading the ball. When will they learn that after 13?

    I told this story before a high school girls coach if his parents were afraid to let their daughter head the ball. Instead of explaining to them how her daughter can head without getting hurt. Instead he Would just tell them ok she does not have to head the ball. Then when he caught a break and started to coach soccer at a women's college. He looked for players who could head the ball. That coach was a joke.

    I don't want to see youth players head every ball. There are many parts of the body that can be used to shoot and control the body. At times you want to get the ball with the chest and not with your head.

    Ever notice their are only certain players that are good with their head.

    Others can never seem to get their head on a high ball? Why, because they don't want to no matter what they say they don't want to. It's always over their head or they just miss. Is hat the kind of player we want to produce?

    but when you have to head the ball you should know how to head the ball.

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Ron L, November 9, 2015 at 8:37 p.m.

    Richard is correct. The problem is not with the age of when we train. It's the training of the coaches. Most coaches at this level are volunteers who are not trained to teach soccer skills; especially something as difficult as correctly heading. USSF separates themselves from the States on how players and referees are administrated. The states dump it on the local
    Leagues to get coaches trained. WhT needs to happen is Chicago and the states associations need to get every coach at a clinic to learn how to coach the skill. Also every league needs a high level coach who assists every coach. This may mean more money staying with the leagues and not going up the chain.

  3. stewart hayes, November 9, 2015 at 8:57 p.m.

    I don't know the science behind the lawsuit well enough to say one way or another if heading balls under the age of 10 is harmful long term. From my experience the only real heading that might have been considered borderline harmful at this age was heading goalkeeper punts. U10 and below there is not a lot of crossing being done. Without changing the game the same safety concerns could have been met by reducing the weight of the ball. This is something that Anson Dorrance has suggested for women since they are smaller in stature and more vulnerable to a ball designed for men. I wonder if altering the ball design and weight was considered?

  4. aaron dutch, November 9, 2015 at 9:42 p.m.

    I think this is great, we should focus on footwork, freestyle, fun, touches, futsal all foot based so heading is not important until 11-12 if they technical skills are really being developed.

  5. Richard Brown, November 10, 2015 at 7:24 a.m.

    The studies that some people use on heading causes brain damage was done on older adult players that used the old bladder stitched balls. That ball was no joke and their was a lot of playing balls in the air back then. Then if that ball got wet it was a very heavy ball.

    Unlike the ball is today. If the air pressure is right it is a safer ball to play with. Most head injuries in all our game resulted from player to forearm head contact, elbow to head contact, foot to head, or even head to head contact not ball to head contact.

    The group that is the biggest sponsor of these studies are the people who make the helmets that supposed to prevent these injuries. If you don't know how to do it right nothing will keep you from getting injured. If I am wrong try to bring a lawsuit if your kid gets injured wearing one see what happens

  6. Roy Pfeil, November 10, 2015 at 9:46 a.m.

    Are there other alternatives to deal with the heading and concussion concern? How about developing heading technique for all players under 10 years of age by using beach balls or the softer play ground red balls that they use in kick ball games or physical education classes...or how about the softer balls they use in dodge ball...will kids stop heading when they play pick up soccer? I agree that we should not encourage any heading prior to age 10 with a normal soccer ball but I also feel we should teach proper heading technique with softer versions of soccer balls...also letting kids play more futsal games will develop important dribbling, passing skills, as well as individual and small group defense

  7. Gus Keri, November 10, 2015 at 10:04 a.m.

    This is one of the best decisions taken by US Soccer. I am not talking health-wise. I am talking soccer-wise. Teaching the kids below 13 to use their feet all the time and not resort to high balls and long crosses and passes is the best thing to developing proper soccer players and staying away from the one-root style. Kids need not to be scared away from heading but need to be taught that playing with feet is the proper thing for them until they get 13 years old when they can start heading the ball. And yes, they can learn the proper way of heading after 13. I have no doubt about it.

  8. Richard Brown replied, November 10, 2015 at 10:51 a.m.

    On yes they can learn the proper way of heading after 13. Maybe but they definitely won't be dangerous in the air I am definely sure of that.

  9. Gus Keri, November 10, 2015 at 10:07 a.m.

    I butchered Route-one style. Sorry.

  10. Erin Silks, November 10, 2015 at 10:07 a.m.

    I coach U10 boys, we don't teach or encourage heading. The ball is on the ground most of the time anyway, they need to develop strong footskills and touch at this age. I see no problem with this, it really won't be much of a change for my guys...

  11. Michael Cornelison, November 10, 2015 at 10:33 a.m.

    I have yet to read more about the safety campaign but one thin that concerns me is that this discussion focuses solely on the role of heading in concussion risk in youth soccer. In my experience coaching girls u-10 to u-15, the concussions sustained by our players and opponents virtually all were the result of head-to-ground injuries, where an off-balance player was knocked down by an opponent while playing the ball with her feet.

    I think a major factor in these cases was that the game has gotten a lot more physical than when I played as a youth, even up to u-18 then. Hard contact with arms extended, grabbing, and even simply hard charges onto the ball were regularly called as fouls, but these are routinely allowed now at even the youngest levels. I have my own theories about why this is the case, but at the young ages where there is a wide variety of heights, weights, and relative strengths among players, it can be a recipe for injury when the physics of a one on one challenge can be so unequal.

  12. Seth Worden, November 10, 2015 at 10:54 a.m.

    We should wrap all of the kids in bubble wrap and closed-cell foam insulation. We should make them walk while playing to ensure they don't fall. We should play with helmets and face masks. We should play on bed mattresses so if anyone falls...

    Personally, I feel this is another knee-jerk reaction to a law suit.

  13. Kent James, November 10, 2015 at 10:58 a.m.

    Most commenters (and the USSF) get this right. No need for the young ones to be heading the ball, since the ball should rarely be in the air anyway. Teaching them proper technique with soft balls is a nice way to ease them into it, but doesn't take long (and since you can't play with a nerf or beach ball, you can really only use such balls for a very short time). If you teach them properly, most will be able to master the technique, but there will always be a few who don't want to do it, regardless of how good their technique might be.

  14. stewart hayes, November 10, 2015 at 12:21 p.m.

    M Cornelison I tend to agree with you. In my long experience with the ages in question I was more concerned about players shooting or clearing wildly and hitting someone in the face or the side of the head. At the older end of the spectrum, HS, player collisions seemed to be a major problem. This study 2015 concludes the same....

    While I am for improving the safety for the very young developing players I am more concerned about the 69% to 51% concussion rate, among boys and girls respectively, due to player on player collision. The new rules do not address this serious problem.

  15. beautiful game, November 10, 2015 at 12:50 p.m.

    At youth level heading is as poor as it is in the MLS. IMHO, heading should start after the U-15 level. Time enough to learn the techniques for players who have the ability to make things happen. Better to be on the safe side, especially when the majority of youth soccer players quit playing after high school.

  16. Bob Ashpole, November 10, 2015 at 1:10 p.m.

    People are making judgments based on no information whatsoever. Heading without contact with another player definitely does not cause concussions. (U-littles are not striking with adult power.) But concussion is defined by doctors to be a set of specific symptoms. Just because heading doesn't cause concussions, however, doesn't mean that heading doesn't cause injuries of some other kind. This is the part where there is no available information at all--just speculation. I am not saying that coaches should not take precautions. I took precautions 20 years ago with U-Littles because it made sense to me (low impact, low repetitions). The bottom line is that I resent anybody telling me how to train a subject when their restrictions are based on pure speculation. (As an example of the lunacy, the heading ban means you have to stop players from controlling or juggling the ball with their heads.) The compromise settlement was not made because it is in the best interests of children, but rather simply to save litigation costs in an area where both sides know that there is no information available.

  17. John Hutchins, November 10, 2015 at 1:15 p.m.

    I read everyone's comments and everyone makes valid points that you may or may not agree with. I am in my mid-30s and have been playing all my life, from park soccer to high school to clubs to college to semi-pro level; I have also been involved with refereeing and coaching/training ages 3 to college age players (I provide my background to validate my experience on what I am about share). I am surprise it took this long for this to occur, I remember in the '80s talks about the negatives of heading. I agree proper heading technique eliminates most head injuries associated with one heading a ball without anyone around, there are rare occurrences where properly heading a ball can hurt you i.e. heading a goal kick where the ball is water logged.

    Yes, this ruling is a response to a lawsuit but I agree with the decision to not allow players 10 and under to head the ball. Realistically how many times in a game does a player who is 4, 5, 6, 7, or even 8 have the opportunity to head the ball...rarely if ever and normally if a player at these ages heads a ball it is because the ball hits their head not the player intentionally heading the ball. Ages 9-10 you start to see more balls played in the air with more opportunities to head the balls but still headers aren't occurring that often. Next, a good portion of the coaches for players 10 and under are parent volunteers who have not played the game before (the younger the age the more there are parent volunteers that are inexperience in soccer), heading is a technique skill and really needs to be taught by individuals that understand the skill not by someone who has never done it themselves or individuals who took a class or two; it would be like me teaching a 10 year old football player how to properly tackle...not good. Next, most soccer at 10 and under are on smaller fields and have less players playing in the games, the reason for this concept is for each player to get more touches, work on foundamentals and more player involvement, which means developing dribbling, passing, defending, spacing and trapping skills; also a lot the play should be on the ground which means no headers. Next, in all reality learning how to properly head a ball should not take years to learn, it the same as learning how to trap or dribble. So starting to teach heading at age 11 should not stunt players growth as a soccer player for when they get to college. That being said some players are going to be naturally good at heading and winning the 50/50 balls in the air and others are not no matter when one starts to learn this skill, but at the same time aren't there some players better at dribbling than others, some players are better at being a pure goal scorer than others, some players being a better tackler than others. As each player gets older and starts to excel at certain skills then they will be placed in postion(s) that these skills are best utilized for this includes heading.

  18. John Hutchins, November 10, 2015 at 1:46 p.m.

    Final thought in regards to headers: when you watch a world class professional club play, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, etc., do you see them heading the ball down the field to each other or passing, dribbling, trapping, crossing and receiving the ball on their chests/thighs/feet? We should all know the answer to this question. You see them heading the ball to clear it out of the defensive third, winning 50/50 balls off of set plays, flicking balls on to teammates or heading balls towards the goal on the offense...occasionally you see them heading the ball to trap/control it. Since that is what we see the very best players in the world doing on the most successful clubs then shouldn't we try to emulate those skills/traits and focus on that.

    Also, I don't believe this ruling is saying you can't allow players to utilize their head when players are juggling the ball for control it is for heading the ball during games which will also prevent the player contact that really causes the harm, head to head, elbow to head, being under cut and landing on your neck/head. Again, when working on skills and drills to develop skills, i.e. Juggling, why would the player be utilizing their head to keep control of the ball when the goal should be to control the ball and not allow the ball to control you. Meaning if you juggle a soccer ball you should be dictating where the ball is going so utilizing your head for control should be a focus down the road not at the beginning. Players should be focusing on keeping the ball on their feet, with little rotation and approximately knee high.

    Based on some of these comments the USSF definitely is heading in the right direction of eliminating headers until kids are older because heading shouldn't be a focus until kids are older, and the fact that heading is so important to some at a younger age indicates player development focus is not where it needs to be.

  19. beautiful game, November 10, 2015 at 3:27 p.m.

    Bob A; , really? I've coached youth soccer and most players don't initiate contact with the ball, ball hits their head. Besides, youth soccer games should require ball on the ground in order to develop simple skills, that's the problem our senior players have, no simple skills.

  20. Bob Ashpole replied, November 10, 2015 at 7 p.m.

    Before flighted crosses, the most common use of the head that I saw in youth soccer is to control bouncing balls and throw ins. I trained heading technique so my players were not afraid to head the ball. Just like training tackling, charging and shielding creates confidence and eliminates fear of contact. I agree that many youth players I saw lacked fundamental skills and many were afraid of contact with the ball and other players.

  21. Nicholas Adams, November 10, 2015 at 5 p.m.

    Brilliant, so a bunch of busy bodies in California have succeeded in screwing with the game again. Why does America constantly feel it has to change the rules of the game when it's perfectly OK for everyone else in the world?
    The two referee system; sudden death/golden goals and numerous other failures are examples of America trying to fix the game when it isn't broken!
    I agree,it isn't essential for young players to learn heading but by 10/11 they're going to have to learn that heading the ball is part of the game and they need to learn to do it properly, otherwise they will have more injuries and just how do you limit heading practice, who will police it?
    Yes you want them to focus on footskills but heading is an effective way of defending and scoring.
    What next, a ban on tackling?
    Thanks for nothing America.

  22. Allan Lindh, November 10, 2015 at 5:16 p.m.

    Gee all you know-it-alls must have graduate degrees in neuroscience, I would gather from the tone of your comments. But there are a few facts you might consider.
    1. Repetitive head trauma causes brain damage. Doesn't have to be violent, repetition does damage.
    2. Some people are much more susceptible, one gene variant correlates well, same one that causes higher risk of late-onset dementia.
    3. Of course collisions with other heads, the ground, goal uprights, or hard hit balls do damage also. Which is why every year you will see more kids wearing soft-helmets.

    All your moronic responses remind me of what the knuckle heads said when helmets were first introduced into hockey. Now everyone wears them. The same will happen in Soccer, but thanks to ill-informed clowns like you all, that will be a slow process, and in the meantimes, thousands more kids will end up with real damage. Must make you proud, roughly equivalent to beating up on little kids, you big brave tough men you.

  23. Bob Ashpole replied, November 10, 2015 at 7:07 p.m.

    I don't think you actually read what I posted. I didn't say that trauma did not cause injury. I said that heading alone (especially at the U-little level) does not cause concussions. Those statements are not the same. If you don't understand the distinction, you probably won't understand the subject.

  24. Richard Brown replied, November 11, 2015 at 12:25 a.m.

    Ok let's talk about those "helmets" they have no suspension space or air between the helmet let's call it a head band and the head. Nothing to help keep the ball force from the head. It is a thing invented by someone to make money not to protect the player. Why do a lot of girl professional players wear them they get paid a few thousand to wear them by the manufacturer.

    Why do you see some male keepers wear them. They have received multiple concussions. They should have retired but instead they wear them and argue it saved their career.

    The old McGregor American American football helmet had no suspension. I played both football and soccer. I wore that helmet you felt every shot. Football players American can knock themselves out if their helmet hit frozen ground.

    Football American game has changed over the years no more spearing and no more head slap.

    Girl get more concussions then men because they don't know how to protect their space to play in.

    ACL because it is in part do to hereditary. When you kick a soccer ball it should have a blended knee you don't want to extend the kicking leg on the end of the shot.

    I have been playing and coaching from the 1961 and I started late.

  25. stewart hayes, November 10, 2015 at 5:57 p.m.

    I have not gotten the impression that everyone is denying there is a problem A.L. Regarding the future use of head protection in soccer I don't know if that is the ultimate or only answer. It certainly hasn't solved all the problems in football. I would say that some form of head protection could help in soccer, would the problem be eliminated, probably not. Among US national team players studies of their brains suggest evidence of encephalopathy relates more to acute head injuries received during their careers rather than simple repetitive heading. I don't believe juggling or passing is harmful, undoubtedly concussions are. Future research will have to be the guide.

  26. Scott Johnson, November 10, 2015 at 7:43 p.m.

    Is this being done based on age or age group (U10, etc)? Is a U11 player who is ten years old now prohibited from heading the ball, but his teammate who has turned 11 still permitted? Is (deliberate) heading to be banned in game, with fouls called if a player does so?

  27. uffe gustafsson, November 10, 2015 at 8:34 p.m.

    We had 4 girls this fall season alone with concussions. By HEADING the ball. Not falling and hitting the head or clashing heads.
    This is a serious problem and we need to start preventing these concussions.
    After second or third your pediatrician will tell you no more contact sport. And the second one will most likely take 6 month before coming back to practice.
    If you don't think this is a serious problem in competitive soccer u have your head in a hole in the ground.
    So all your ney Sayers better wake up and really find out the truth on how many concussion we have, and end sports for many.
    How about not be able to attend school for several month because of head aches, light sensitivity, and dizzy spells. Yes those are the real affects that comes with heading balls.

  28. Bob Ashpole replied, November 12, 2015 at 5:41 p.m.

    I find this difficult to believe. What age were the girls. Likewise to attribute the injury to the header you have to know that the girls were not concussed prior to the event, which I find a much more likely possibility. Someone who is already concussed is much more susceptible to further injury.

  29. Christopher Reistle, November 10, 2015 at 8:40 p.m.

    My son is a high-level U11 player. He has been playing soccer since he was 4 and heading the ball for as long as I can remember. In that time he has had two concussions. Neither of those concussions were the result of heading the ball. Both were the result of a collision with another player and the ground.

  30. Jason Taylor, November 10, 2015 at 8:46 p.m.

    This is good news because it brings some awareness to what is going on, but this is not the best solution, and one cannot avoid hits to the head with the ball. A better solution is available: meetup dot com slash safersoccer.

  31. Wooden Ships, November 10, 2015 at 9:11 p.m.

    Thanks Nicholas and Seth for some perspective. And Allan you're a nitwit. You have to have some years to recognize this in a long, and endless, quest for immortality through legislation. Ever notice how are society is more susceptible to sickness and injuries. How has all that protectionism and do gooders accomplished. Leave the game alone.

  32. uffe gustafsson, November 10, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.

    Hey wooden ships
    No need for name calling.
    Maybe it have escaped you that we don't die at 50 years old anymore we live until 80 something.
    So your comment on society have no backing on statistics they show the opposite.
    That is called we eat better and exercise living a better life. I bet you drive without a seat belt as well, who needs protection!
    All sports are coming up with new ways to protect the participants. You want to go back to metal studs on the cleats? That is what we use back in time, screw on studs. Don't think so.

  33. Richard Brown, November 11, 2015 at 5:18 a.m.

    Uffe I am 75 I have only 5 more years left? The truth is I never thought I would live this long. My brother is 79 and has a 20 year old son in college.

    This is what I don't do anymore. I don't drink, I don't smoke cigars, don't drink soda or diet soda, I get to bed at 9 pm most nights. The good news is I can still get it on with my wife of almost 50 yrs :)

    Coaching and dealing with young players kept me thinking young. That is the secret think young. Think old get old. Don't use it lose it.

    Yes I eat better no more cake, no more pasta well less pasta.

    Heck who wants to live forever.

  34. Allan Lindh, November 11, 2015 at 11:07 a.m.

    To continue the diatribe on a higher plain, there is a way to reduce concussions in soccer. Outlaw heading. Period. Ball hitting your head is just like hitting your hand. Play the ball with your feet. The Beautiful Game is played with the feet, heading is a way for people w/o foot skills to dominate the game. Eliminate heading, and you will greatly reduce head clashes as well. And have a more beautiful and safer game.

  35. Richard Brown, November 11, 2015 at 3:15 p.m.

    how about banning the goal kick, banning the punt, banning the volley, ban the half volley, ban the free kick anything that puts the ball in the air, ban the keeper that can lead to more scoring.

    Ban women from playing that could lead to less ACL injuries. Because women have more ability to hyper extend their joints then men. That can lead to ACL injuries that is a fact.

    Ban American football and ban boxing.

    Ban driving a car.

    Ban free speech oops we are already doing that.

  36. uffe gustafsson, November 11, 2015 at 4:15 p.m.

    OMG think Stone Age people have learned to use modern technology.
    We have come a long way to understand injuries and how to prevent em. If coaches would implement ACL prevention in their warm ups that would go a long way. FIFA have excellent video on warm up to specifically prevent those injuries.
    It's just a matter of time and perfect the head gears for players to at least minimize concussions to be part of the uniform. And that is a good step forward. For young kids not to head balls seem like one of those steps,
    Coaching is no differents then any other proffetion you have to read up on new science and implement that into practice and games.
    You can't still do things you did 20 years ago and think that is the only way to do things.
    Even the game have changed how we play today,
    Stop digging your feet into the ground and start be part of the program. Change is diffecult but necessary.

  37. Bob Ashpole replied, November 12, 2015 at 5:52 p.m.

    You need to get current. Studies have shown that the FIFA 11+ exercises do not prevent ACL injuries. As a result now all that they claim is that the exercise program will somewhat reduce the risk of injury generally.

  38. Richard Brown, November 12, 2015 at 2:28 a.m.

    There is a test to see who is more likely for ACL injury.

    The knee test is simple: sit on the floor with your leg straight, and pull up on your foot. If you can lift your foot off the floor WITH the back of your knee still touching the ground, you've reached hyper-extension.

    This is good if you're a swimmer, but not good if you want to play soccer and avoid knee surgery.

    People who can hyper-extend their joints (I can get my foot a good three inches offthe floor in this exercise) must pay special attention to quad-hamstring strengthening exercises, as well as abductor-adductor exercises for lateral stability.

  39. John Hutchins, November 12, 2015 at 3:10 p.m.

    I just came back to read additional comments and I am reading some nonsense from some folks. First of all joint/muscle injuries has no relevance to this topic. Concussions can only occur from some form of head contact with something/someone else; while, for example, ACL injuries more often than not occur from non-contact injuries. I am not sure why there is so much anger over this decision in regards to banning children 10 and under from heading the ball. The ban is not related to adolescents, teenagers or adults. It will not affect play overall in the grand scheme of our professional or national teams. It will assist in preventing head trauma injuries in children which could led to long-term irreversible effects. If banning heading at this age range is really going to ruin the game for our country then we have a lot more problems to evaluate in regards to the sport of soccer. All this banning is going to do is force coaches and players to learn how to position themselves better to receive the ball with there chest/thigh/feet so when they can start heading they will be better at the foundamentals. Does everyone remember when teams could intentionally pass back the ball to their keeper and he/she could use their hands, then FIFA changed the rule to make the game quicker and more exciting. I am sure there was a lot of negative response at first but today the game is better because of that change to the law.

  40. John Hutchins, November 12, 2015 at 3:29 p.m.

    Finally and the most important things to remember, everyone on here and most people upset about this ban are adults/individuals that are forgetting that soccer is a sport which ultimately is a game, granted a beautiful game and one that I love but still a game. This ban is to hopefully prevent and/or reduce head injuries (not only will there not be contact with kids head to the ball but it will reduce kids heading each other or causing each other to fall and hit their heads on the ground). The ban will allow kids, once they are old enough, to be more coordinated and have a better understanding of to do the heading techniques properly due to being a more mature age. I believe it is our job as adults to ensure children aren't unnecessarily being injured, especially head trauma injuries, while participating in a game especially a game at ages where a good percentage will stop participating as they get older. This ban is to protect our country's children from themselves and in cases adults (coaches) by eliminating a component of the game at a young age that has shown to cause unnecessary head injuries. Just think about this question, if you were to tell your 7 year old you can't head a ball in a game until you are 11 would they be upset or for that matter even care. Luckily for me my child has not had a head injury but I would think some of the individuals opposed to this ban if they had a child who had received serious head trauma from a heading related injury they would saying this ban is good thing and wished it was implemented prior to their child being injured and dealing with the long-term effects.

  41. Richard Brown, November 12, 2015 at 3:41 p.m.

    Question high bouncing ball and a 8 yr old heads the ball down to the ground so he can dribble it. Would an official make a heading call yes or no?

  42. John Hutchins replied, November 12, 2015 at 4:15 p.m.

    Yesm if the rule is no heading at all. This would be for both sides though. I understand the rule will effect these types of plays and may/will result in some sloppy touches. But in reality how clean is the play at this age no matter what the level? Also, how many times in a game does this happen? Ultimately, the play will adapt to the rule change like it has with every other rule/law change through the years.

  43. John Hutchins, November 12, 2015 at 4:24 p.m.

    For instance, in Indiana at the U-8 to U-10 academy level the fields are a lot smaller than a normal size field, the teams play 5 field players and a keeper, the keeper is not allowed to punt the ball they have to throw or put the ball on the ground and play with their feet from their penalty area, and on goal kicks the defending team cannot cross the half line until the ball has been passed out by the keeper to one of their teammates. These are definitely not the rules that older players play with but these rules have been implemented to allow for kids to get touches and develop. Especially since academy level soccer is not about winning or losing but developing soccer players. Does that mean when they are older they can't punt the ball or execute goal kicks...no.

  44. John Hutchins, November 12, 2015 at 4:35 p.m.

    Also, look at futsal mainly of the top players in the world, i.e. Messi / Ronaldo, played this version of soccer when they were younger and attribute their skill and success to playing futsal. Futsal has a number of variations to traditional soccer, it is about skill not physicality. There is limited body to body contact, the ball is smaller and denser, the game is played on a hard court, and they do not head the ball very often since it is not effective in that game. So should players not play that game and improve their footskills like the best players in the world have been doing because there is not much heading or not much physical contact or because it is played on a smaller hard court surface? Once again I think our focus should be on the positives of this ban which I believe outweighs the limited negatives.

  45. Wooden Ships, November 12, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

    Allen, I apologize for the name calling, although your initial references were pretty harsh. Nobody wishes concussions and subsequent complications. I wish to continue as a contributor to future forums. Civility is important. We have seen some comments, up to and including the total banning of heading. That was my initial concern for ever increasing legislation. Modernity in and of itself doesn't mean better.
    I played hockey with and without helmets and use metal screw in boots. Is it better today with and without, yes. Safer. Like many of you I played soccer professionally and later taught and coached at the university level. I coached women after a stint as a coach and later general manager of amen's semi pro team. I know too much resume-boring. There are certainly many variables that go into the fragility, durability of an athlete. I'm okay with the 10 and under ban, but I bet this isn't the end of it.
    Here's another thought. At what point did the game become more important to the adults and clubs, than the ones actually playing. That's part of the explanation as to why we still struggle with technical development.

  46. Richard Brown, November 12, 2015 at 8:38 p.m.

    Got to tell you guys if I saw an official make a heading call against a kid who uses his head to bring down a high bounce to his feet while dribbling. I would think he is officiating like a machine and he has no judgement. Because there is no chance for that kid to get hurt. It should be a play on play.

    I would leave the field who wants to watch that even if it was my own grand daughter playing.

  47. Allan Lindh, November 13, 2015 at 10:44 p.m.

    Wooden Ships. That's ok, my wife agrees with you. But the futsal post was spot on. The beautiful game is played with the feet.

  48. Wooden Ships, November 14, 2015 at 7:41 a.m.

    Thanks Allan. Yes, futsal would be most helpful. In a panicked rush to try and win over potential supporters of the sport we decided to play on converted hockey rinks. It was fast, tough, electric and we marketed our socks off. It didn't help skill much. If I'm not mistaken I played with or against Twellmans dad and/or uncle for awhile and it was at this time that the indoor game started. One of them might have put the first one in place. I have never liked the desperation we so often showed in trying to gain support. I would like to make the motion that we also start calling soccer by its correct name, either football or futbal. It's past time.

  49. andreas papakostas, February 28, 2016 at 12:34 p.m.

    Moronic, Idiotic and very concerned with the POLITICS and the Lawsuit happy people... I created a video, please spread it and share it so we can reverse this rule ASAP.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ0Dvs3nzY4&feature=youtu.be

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications