New soccer rules try to reduce concussions for kids

Grand Park Cup Soccer Torunament_258967

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Some major changes are coming for younger kids who play soccer. The changes are meant to help prevent concussions.

Football is usually the sport talked about when it comes to concussions, but the truth is concussions is an issue facing all sports. Leaders at Indiana Soccer are now implementing a new rule to stop heading for kids 12 and under.

Here are some of the rules:

  • All Players Under 11 shall not engage in heading in training or in games.
  • Players 12 and 13 are limited 30 minutes of heading training per week, and will further limit each player to a maximum of 20 headers per week.
  • Referees will enforce heading restrictions as per the age-level of the contest.
  • If a player 11 and under deliberately heads the ball in a game, the referee will award an indirect free kick 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.

Recently, former U.S. soccer star Brandi Chastain, whose penalty kick gave the United States the 1999 Women’s World Cup title, has pledged her brain for concussion research. She says she wants to help researchers studying the brain in hopes of diagnosing and treating chronic degenerative conditions caused by a blow or blows to the head.

The NFL has its own issues with concussions. They recently stated that preventing the injury is their number one priority.

These new rules start April 1st this year. There are more than 125 teams and about 60 thousand youth players that will follow these new guidelines.

For the full letter about the new rules, click here.

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