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Guidelines Limit Heading the Ball for Youth Soccer Players

Teen playing soccer

Concussion is a serious injury for any athlete – especially youth athletes. Though football has been in the news for concussion risks, the U.S. Soccer Association has recognized the potential danger of heading in soccer for young players. In response to the risks, the association has issued guidelines either banning or limiting players heading the ball depending on their age.

As part of the U.S. Soccer Concussion Initiative, children 10 years or under are no longer allowed to head the ball in practice or games, while players ages 11-13 are allowed to head the ball during games, but are limited during practice. The association believes limiting a youth athlete’s exposure to repeated heading in soccer will decrease concussions in youth soccer players. This is a belief that our youth sports medicine specialists at the Sports Medicine and Performance Center can support.

Listen to Doug Wiesner, youth sports medicine program director for the Sports Medicine and Performance Center, explain what a concussion is and why young soccer players are at such a high risk from heading the ball. Chris Duke, executive director of the Kansas State Youth Soccer Association, also discusses the new recommendations, how long they may take to implement and why this is important for player safety.

The new heading regulations are a positive step forward to protect youth athletes. Visit our website to learn more about the dangers of concussion and the innovative research and treatment provided by the Center for Concussion Management.

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