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Community Soccer Club

Heading Policy

New regulations have been issued from US Soccer regarding more stringent restrictions on heading of the soccer ball for younger players.

As a result of these new regulations, CSC has instituted the following policy:

For all divisions from K through Grade 5&6, there will be no intentional heading either in practice or games. Coaches are expected to abide by this policy during practices. During games, the referees will assess an indirect free kick to the opposing team for any heading the referee deems to be intentional. Accidental heading will not be penalized but if in the opinion of the referee the player sustained or may have sustained an injury he shall stop play to allow an examination to take place.

There are no changes to heading policy, over and above the current concussion rules, for players in the Grade 7-9 division. Heading at this level is permitted.

CSC referees have been instructed as follows:

  • First, it only applies to DELIBERATE heading of the ball. You will have to do the same thing you do with handling, and judge whether or not the act was deliberate. I think most of us can tell when an action is intentional, but (for example) you cannot penalize a player if an opponent kicks a ball into his/her head from a short distance away.
  • This becomes a little more of a problem if the ball is flighted from a longer distance. You will have to judge whether or not the player saw the ball coming, and did the player make an effort to avoid heading the ball. This is more or less the same concept as “making oneself bigger” applied to handling.
  • The penalty is an indirect free kick from the point of the violation. This is NOT a foul. You cannot award a penalty kick. You should not apply advantage. You should never treat this as trivial, and indeed, should probably take a quick look at the player who heads the ball on every instance. Obviously, a goal can no longer be counted if scored from heading the ball in these age groups.

 

Parents or coaches who have questions about interpreting this requirement are asked to come visit us upstairs at Diamond or send us an email. 

Also, please take the time to read the article entitled "Recognize to Recover" on the US Soccer website.

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Diamond Community Park (07:36 AM | 10/06/18)