Concussions are a serious health concern in youth sports. HYS is committed to the safety of our players and to educating our players, parents, coaches and administrators of the dangers of concussion-related injuries. All coaches are required to review concussion information and protocols on an annual basis.
HEADS UP Concussion in Youth Sports is a free, online course available to coaches, parents, and others helping to keep athletes safe from concussion. Once you complete this less than 30-minute training and quiz, please email a copy of your certificate to the Director of Soccer Development.
Mass Youth Soccer has implemented the following policy and modified laws of the game for heading. This requirement is for all Mass Youth Soccer affiliated activities, including but not limited to, Mass Youth Soccer affiliated member organization league play, practices and tournaments.
For all Mass Youth Soccer and all Member Organizations the following will be adhered to:
Heading Not Permissible
Players by Age
- All players age 10 years old and younger, regardless of what age group program they are playing in, shall not engage in heading either in practice or in games.
Programs by Age Group
- All players in single year age groups of U11 programs and younger shall not engage in heading either in practice or in games.
- All players in dual year age groups which incorporate a U11 program (e.g. U11/12) shall not engage in heading in games. Training is permissible for player age 11 and 12 per limitations noted below.
Limited Heading in Practice, No Limit in Games
Players by Age
- For all players between the ages of 11 and 13, heading training will be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes per week with no more that 15‐20 headers per player, per week. No limit of heading in games.
Mass Youth Soccer and all Member Organizations are to inform all coaches to teach and emphasize the importance of proper techniques for heading the ball.
For those players designated as not being permitted to head a ball in games as identified in the above section Heading Not Permissible t he following modified law 12 will apply.
An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player, in the opinion of the referee:
- Deliberately heads or attempts to head the ball.
If, in the opinion of the referee, a deliberate header or attempt to head occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick will be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.
If, in the opinion of the referee, a player does not deliberately head or attempt to head the ball, then play should continue.
Get aHEAD Safely
Get aHEAD Safely in Soccer is an interactive online course developed by United Soccer Coaches to educate coaches on how to teach safer heading techniques for players ages 11-13. This 30-minute course is free and available to anyone and everyone interested in heading safety. Course participants will:
- Discover 5 practical ways to decrease the risk of concussions in soccer.
- Learn key coaching points for proper heading technique and training drills.
- Understand the techniques for the correct practice of “attacking” and “defensive” headers.
- Explore a series of interactive videos for neck and core strengthening exercises.
- Increase player safety by understanding head impact sensor technology and how it can be used to validate and enforce proper heading technique.
- Receive a United Soccer Coaches Diploma awarded upon completion.
Coaches that elect to take this course should forward a copy of their diploma to the Director of Soccer Development.