US bans un­der 10s from head­ing over safety fears

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LOS AN­GE­LES: Foot­ball play­ers un­der the age of 10 will be banned from head­ing as part of a se­ries of safety mea­sures aimed at tack­ling head in­juries in the sport, the United States Soc­cer Fed­er­a­tion (USSF) has an­nounced, end­ing the threat of a pro­posed class-ac­tion law­suit.

The re­vised safety mea­sures will also limit the amount of head­ers in prac­tice for play­ers aged be­tween 11 and 13, a state­ment on the US Soc­cer web­site con­firmed.

The new rules will be fol­lowed strictly by USSF Soc­cer youth national teams and the youth sec­tions of Ma­jor League Soc­cer teams but are only rec­om­men­da­tions for teams and as­so­ci­a­tions out­side US Soc­cer control.

The guide­lines were drawn up to re­solve a le­gal case launched in fed­eral court in Cal­i­for­nia by a group of par­ents and play­ers al­leg­ing not enough was be­ing done to treat and mon­i­tor head in­juries.

No dam­ages were sought in the suit, only amend­ments to rules gov­ern­ing the sport in the United States.

As part of the res­o­lu­tion, the USSF has de­vel­oped an ex­ten­sive pro­gram to im­prove con­cus­sion aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion amongst youth coaches, ref­er­ees, par­ents and play­ers, a state­ment said.

Rules gov­ern­ing the max­i­mum num­ber of sub­sti­tu­tions would also be tweaked to en­sure they did not act as an im­ped­i­ment to the eval­u­a­tion of play­ers who have suf­fered a con­cus­sion dur­ing matches.

“In con­struct­ing the con­cus­sion com­po­nent, US Soc­cer sought in­put from its med­i­cal science com­mit­tee which in­cludes ex­perts in the field of con­cus­sion di­ag­no­sis and man­age­ment, as well as from its tech­ni­cal ad­vi­sors, and worked with its youth mem­bers to de­velop a true con­sen­sus-based pro­gram,” US Soc­cer chief ex­ec­u­tive Dan Flynn said in a state­ment.

Steve Ber­man, lead coun­sel for the plain­tiffs, said the new safety mea­sures met the ob­jec­tives of the case, which would now be dropped.

“We are pleased that we were able to play a role in im­prov­ing the safety of the sport for soc­cer-play­ing chil­dren in this coun­try,” he said. A re­cent study by sci­en­tists in Den­ver looked at con­cus­sions in US high school soc­cer be­tween 2005 and 2014. The study re­ported that while rules out­law­ing head­ing would likely re­duce the num­ber of con­cus­sions, the main causes of head in­juries in­volved ath­lete-to-ath­lete con­tact. — AFP

KATWIJK: Dutch national foot­ball play­ers at­tend a train­ing ses­sion in Katwijk yes­ter­day. The Nether­lands will face Wales on Novem­ber 13 and Ger­many on Novem­ber 17 in friendly matches. — AFP

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