As you all know, US Soccer and US Youth Soccer have recommended no heading of a soccer ball in games or training for players aged 10 and younger. Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer adopted this policy beginning with the 2016-17 season.
As part of US Soccer’s Player Safety Campaign, it’s further recommended that players 11, 12 and 13 years old, should limit their heading in training to 30 minutes per week, and no more than 20 headers per player, per week. In addition, US Soccer recently amended its statement to allow teaching proper technique for 10 year olds, only in controlled environments with the use of a lightweight ball (foam, balloon for example).
Please see the recent statement: US Soccer Concussion Initiative
To help with the transition, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer worked with the Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association Referee Committee (EPSARC) to put together a presentation on how to best implement and understand the no-heading rules. Please understand that while the rules are important, it’s the reason behind them that we are most concerned with. To that end, we ask for all coaches, referees, and parents work together during this adjustment period. Heading is fairly rare to begin with in most U11 matches, but as it may happen going forward, these are educational opportunities, and as you will see, should not be viewed in the same light as other infractions.
That presentation is available below.