For some kids, the days of heading the ball in soccer games is now over.
On Monday, The U.S. Soccer Federation announced changes to soccer rules. They will now limit or ban youth players from heading the ball.
The new guidelines will ban players age 10 and under from heading but ages 11 and 13 will be able to do it within limitations for soccer games and practice. This comes after a class action lawsuit was filed last year claiming that soccer organizations were negligent with head injuries.
Some say heading it’s just a part of the game despite the dangers of it.
“Your head is a very important part of soccer too. I mean it makes it a lot harder to score on things like corner kicks and punts and things from other teams. It would be a lot easier to head the ball,” said Youth Soccer Player, Landon Niday.
It will be up to coaches and organizations to enforce the new rules. A strong emphasis on using more footwork is definitely a possibility.
“I encourage our teams to keep the ball around their pass. That comes with technique of receiving the ball, playing the ball and being able to dribble in tight areas so you don’t have to play the long ball and long crosses that you see headers come from,” said Roanoke Star Soccer Club Coach, Andrew Murphy.
Recommendations will only be made for soccer associations and development programs that are not under U.S. Soccer control.