From the earliest age, kids who play soccer are taught one of the sport’s basic skills…heading the ball. But the days of those 10 years old or younger heading the ball in a soccer game or practice may be ending. The U.S. Soccer Federation has issued new guidelines either banning or limiting players heading the ball depending on their age. Children 10 years or under would no longer be allowed to head the ball in practice or games, while players ages 11 to 13 would be allowed to head the ball during games but would be limited during practice.
That’s good news for youth sports medicine physicians, like Dr. Randy Goldstein with the Sports Medicine and Performance Center at The University of Kansas Hospital.
In the video, he explains what a concussion is, and why young soccer players are at such high risk of them from heading the ball.
Also on the video is Chris Duke, executive director of the Kansas State Youth Soccer Association, which has 28,000 members across the state. He explains the new recommendations, how long it might take to implement them, why it may be a challenge and why it’s important for player safety.