U.S. Soccer Federation banning header for players under 10-year-old

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - On Tuesday the U.S. Soccer Federation released new guidelines for soccer play with kids. The federation is banning headers for players under 10-years-old and kids 11 and up have limitations.  They also want medical professionals to evaluate possible concussions instead of coaches before decisions are made to keep players in.

Soccer coach Jay Hammond says his agrees with the decision, all of his community league players are under 12. A 2014 lawsuit filed in California sparked the change.

“There is more concern about the second impact that’s why the headers are a bad idea. A kid might hit the ground and be shaky then all of a sudden a second impact with a ball can cause the damage. I think it’s a good idea because at this age they don’t have the neck muscles to take an impact to the head like that.” Said Hammond

Hammond also knows the damage a concussion can do. He had four as a teenager and it affected his speech, it’s since been corrected with therapy.  He says parents should ask questions before signing their kids up.

“Parents should ask, what are the concussion risks? What have you been doing? Do you actually screen for concussions or have concussion training.” He said

Under the new rules health care professionals must be at all matches. The regulations also apply to U.S. National Youth teams including those in FIFA.