Concussion discussions have evolved over the years.  What started out over a decade ago as “There might be a problem,” has changed to both the Recognize to Recover (R2R) initiative along with practice and play recommendations put forth by U.S. Soccer.

It is recommended that:

  1. There be NO headings in practice or games for U-11 and younger players.
  2. For U-12 and U-13 players, 30 minutes of heading practice per week per player is recommended with limits of 15 to 20 headers to week per player.

And look for these rule changes:

  1. If a player suffers a blow to the head, s/he should be removed from the playing field.
  2. The team will not be punished, and a medical substitution can be made if a player leaves the field for this injury.
  3. A health-care provider (HCP) must clear the player before s/he can return to play, but there is no return to play that day.

To view all of the governing rules and rule changes, visit and click on the U.S. Soccer Concussion Guidelines link.