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CCYSA - The Beautiful Game

Concussion Prevention

NO MORE HEADING for U12 and Below

CCYSA has eliminated heading from all games and practices.


If a player heads the ball during a game, the referee will stop play and award an indirect free kick to opposing team

Coaches are asked to structure practices that will eliminate the need for heading, and will remind players that heading is not allowed by CCYSA.



The United States Soccer Federation, US Youth Soccer, and the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association have recommended changes to youth soccer to protect our children from the risk of concussions.


Young players do not have the muscle development in their neck to support the head during contact, they lack the motor skill development needed to time and control the contact, and to land safely following contact or collision.


Young players have still developing brains that may be permanently damaged.  And treating young athletes with a concussion is difficult because getting them to completely rest isn’t usually possible.  They also have trouble describing their symptoms and may not understand serious concerns.


In addition to eliminating the risk of concussion from head to ball contact, this will also reduce the risk of head to head, head to body, head to post and head to ground contact that can also result from attempting to head a ball.


We may also see a decline in punts and long “booming” kicks, and an increase in dribbling and short passes on the ground, a better “style “of soccer.


MSYSA is committed to keeping soccer fun and safe for players of all ages. Therefore, in light of the recent settlement of litigation involving youth soccer in the United States, MSYSA would like to inform you about what the association is doing to keep our players safe. As you may know, a class action lawsuit was filed last year against FIFA and the United States Soccer Federation, among other entities, claiming that its concussion protocols were inadequate to protect players. This litigation concluded in a settlement, where U.S. Soccer has agreed to develop in the coming months a comprehensive policy that will provide coaches, players, parents, and referees with additional information and guidance on how best to manage soccer injuries, including concussions. As part of this effort, U.S. Soccer is taking steps to implement more uniform concussion management and return-to-play protocols, modify substitution rules, and ban heading for children ages 10 and under. The policy will also seek to limit heading for children between ages 11 and 13. MSYSA will closely monitor these developments and seek to adopt policies as necessary that enhance athletes’ soccer experience. At this time, it is important to remind parents that MSYSA fully complies with Maryland law relating to the management of sports concussions. The law provides that any athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion during practice or play be promptly removed from the game. Such an athlete may not return to play until he or she has been cleared by a licensed health care professional trained in the management of concussions. Moreover, MSYSA fully supports the intent of the law which is to inform parents, coaches, players, and referees of the risks of concussions and benefits of proper treatment. The settlement involving U.S. Soccer and proposed changes to the rules on heading are just one aspect of the game that MSYSA will seek to study and act on as appropriate. While MSYSA is fully in compliance with current law, we are taking the recommendations seriously and will continue to work to improve the soccer experience for all children.

For more information, visit these links:


US Soccer Safety Campaign

CDC- Heads Up

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