Thursday 8 December 2016

US federation set to ban headers in Under 10s

Published 11/11/2015 | 02:30

The governing body was prodded into action due to the work of the Jeff Astle Foundation
The governing body was prodded into action due to the work of the Jeff Astle Foundation

The US Soccer Federation is recommending a ban on headers for players 10 and under, limits for players between 11 and 13 and having medical professionals rather than coaches make decisions on whether players suspected of concussions can remain in games.

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As part of an announcement that a lawsuit over concussions filed last year had been settled, the USSF said on Monday that it is implementing the changes for US youth national teams and its development academy, which are controlled by the governing body.

The USSF is strongly urging they be adopted by all of its members, which includes youth local level entities and American professional leagues not under direct authority of the defendants in the lawsuit.

The English FA convened an independent panel of head injury and concussion specialists in April with a brief to review guidelines in the English amateur and professional game.

The governing body was prodded into action due to the work of the Jeff Astle Foundation, a campaign group founded in honour of the former West Bromwich Albion and England striker who died in 2002 at the age of 59.

Astle, who was known for his heading prowess, was the first British player confirmed to have died from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive, degenerative brain disease once known as "punch-drunk" as it was first noted in ex-boxers.

It is thought to be a consequence of suffering multiple concussions, such as the low-level impact of heading a football.

Irish Independent

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