Heading Ban for U11 and below

effective immediately.

Sedgwick County Soccer Association, in accordance with Kansas Youth Soccer and US Soccer will be implementing the following rule change effective immediately.

In accordance with the recommendations in US Soccer’s “Recognize to Recover” campaign, Kansas Youth Soccer Association has elected to fully enforce the ban on heading the ball for players that are U11 and below.  This pertains to all Kansas Youth Soccer activities including, but not limited to, all league play, practices and tournaments.

The information contained in the initiative is intended to give U.S. Soccer Organization Members, as well as players, parents, team/club staff and coaches and referees, guidance and direction when dealing with head injuries and potential head injuries during soccer participation.

In addition to the safety initiatives, the following modified rule was published by U.S. Soccer on February 12, 2016:

When a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, 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. If a player does not deliberately head the ball, then play should continue.

For more information, please refer to U.S. Soccer’s frequently asked questions.

Referees wll be informed of the heading ban for the U11 and below age groups. Please be respectful of the referees as there will be a learning curve on how to make the right call each time there is a header. Was it purposeful or not? Remember, heading the ball has always been a part of the game for all age groups and referees have been instructed to have the players’ safety in mind first and foremost. We would also ask that all coaches have a conversation with their parents about being patient with this process.

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