Dear KSYSA Members,
This communication is intended to better assist our teams, clubs, and leagues in understanding & implementing changes, as mandated by US Soccer, as efficiently & effectively as possible.
As part of the US Soccer Concussion Initiative, KSYSA is prohibiting players 10 years old and younger from heading the ball in practice and games. The intent of this restriction is to protect the safety of children, so it applies to the player and level of competition. Age 10 and younger is specifically cited for the player and 11U is the cited age group to in order to assist with its practical implementation.
- An indirect free kick (IFK) should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense. If the deliberate header occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred. US Soccer and KSYSA will provide this information in its referee training. US Soccer and KSYSA will also provide this information in its coaching education courses.
- Beginning in the 2016/2017 season, since 11U competitions may have players who are 10 years old, it is required that heading be prohibited in 11U competitions and younger. Players that are 11 years old playing 11U are prohibited from heading the ball.
- If a player is playing up in an older age group (ex: 10 year old playing with a 12U team), please note that players who are 10 and younger should not be heading the ball regardless of the age group in which they play. This requires education and support from the coach and parent to instruct the player accordingly.
- For players that are 12 and 13 years old, the recommendation is that heading be allowed in games, but that is use in practice should be limited. Since 12U and 13U competitions have players that are 12 and 13 years old, heading is allowed in games but it is recommended that it be limited in practice to a maximum of 30 minutes per week with no more than 15-20 headers per player, per week. US Soccer and KSYSA will provide this information in its coaching education courses.
To download the full PDF that includes all player initiatives CLICK HERE.
Should you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the KSYSA State Office.