An Update on Concussions in Youth Soccer

About a year ago, I wrote a post about heading the soccer ball and concussions.  The issue of heading and concussions remained, and is still a hot topic.  

This week, the U.S. Soccer Federation released a statement regarding this topic. According to the statement, a “sweeping youth soccer initiative” has been developed to address the concerns of concussions in youth soccer.  According to the released statement, the initiative will achieve the following:

  • Improve concussion awareness and education among youth coaches, referees, parents and players
  • Implement more uniform concussion management and return-to-play protocols for youth players suspected of having suffered a concussion
  • Modify the substitution rules to insure such rules do not serve as an impediment to the evaluation of players who may have suffered a concussion during games
  • Eliminate heading for children 10 and under and limit heading in (to) practice for children between the ages of 11 and 13. 

The initiative also resolves a lawsuit filed last year against FIFA, U.S. Soccer and the American Youth Soccer Organization alleging negligence in the monitoring and treatment of head injuries.

More details on the initiative, as well as “ a more comprehensive player safety campaign”, will be released in the next month.