Global Sports: Soccer Without Headers? New Research Shows It’s Worth Discussing

They are part of the first generation to grow up playing soccer with such restrictions, which grew in scope last November when the United States Soccer Federation announced its own limits, in part to resolve a proposed class-action lawsuit that would have charged the federation and others with negligence in treating and monitoring head injuries.

Under the new guidelines, players 10 and younger are prohibited from heading in practices or games. Players from 11 to 13 may head the ball during games but are restricted to a maximum of 30 minutes of heading training per week, with no more than 20 headers per player.

No other nation is believed to have made such a move. A spokesman at FIFA, the sport’s world governing body, said this week in an email that “to our knowledge” a ban such as this “applies in the USA only.”

But changes could be coming quickly: The BBC reported Friday that the Scottish Youth Football Association would “urgently” review its guidelines for heading in response to the new study. David Little, the association’s chief executive, told the BBC that it would be “unadvisable” for a child of any age to…

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