LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — New safety recommendations from the US Soccer Federation are suggesting that players under 10-years old should not head the ball in order to protect themselves from concussions.
Auggie Rodriguez coaches girls soccer for the Empire Soccer Club in the Inland Empire, and he is enforcing the new rules on his team.
“We are not going to be heading the ball,” Rodriguez said.
“We’ve had several tragedies that obviously you don’t hear about, but we are in the business and I think it’s a good initiative,” he added.
The recommendations from the US Soccer Federation also suggest that players aged 11-13 should stop heading the ball in practice, as well.
Youth soccer groups have also been advised to improve concussion education, as well as changing substitution rules, in order to allow injured players to be checked out of the game without penalty.
“I do like the fact that concussion rules have come in and that play needs to be stopped immediately and players need to be checked right away,” John Boyd said.
Some parents, like Orlando Salazar, have already started teaching their children under 10-years old how to head the ball, and are questioning what to do now.
“It takes away from the game,” Salazar said.
“At a young age we start teaching our girls to head the ball, and it kind of takes away what we’ve been teaching them for the last couple of years,” he added.
A spokesperson for the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) said the recommendations just came out and they are not ready to make any comments at the moment.