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:
- There be NO headings in practice or games for U-11 and younger players.
- 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:
- If a player suffers a blow to the head, s/he should be removed from the playing field.
- The team will not be punished, and a medical substitution can be made if a player leaves the field for this injury.
- 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 nscaa.com/news/2015/11/us-soccer-s-recognize-to-recover and click on the U.S. Soccer Concussion Guidelines link.