US children under 13 are banned from heading footballs

BY: Junior Graphic
Children under 10 will not even be allowed to practise heading the ball as part of new rules brought in after U.S. Soccer settled a class-action lawsuit

From blocking crosses to winning possession, and even the occasional diving wonder-goal, heading the ball has always been a key component of soccer.

But not for youngsters in America anymore after the sport's governing body, U.S. Soccer, issued a dictate effectively banning the practice.

 

According to officials, heading the ball should not be allowed for any player aged under 10, and should be limited to practice sessions only for those aged 11 to 13 due to concussion fears.

At the moment, the rules will only be applied to U.S. Soccer's Youth National Teams and its Development Academy, including MLS youth teams.

While those players only make up a fraction of the total number of people taking up the game, they are perhaps the most important in terms of furthering the sport on a national and international level.

U.S. Soccer admits that it doesn't have the authority to force all clubs to play by the rules, though authorities say they will be putting pressure on everyone to follow their advice.

A spokesman said: 'Although they are only recommendations, they are based on the advice of the U.S. Soccer medical committee, and, therefore, U.S. Soccer strongly urges that they be followed.'

The ruling comes after a class action lawsuit filed in California last year, bringing claims against U.S. Soccer and its associated bodies, as well as FIFA, the international governing body.

CREDIT: Mail Online