U.S. Soccer resolves lawsuit, agrees to limit headers for youth players

Tuesday November 10th, 2015

U.S. Soccer resolved an ongoing lawsuit on Monday and agreed to limit headers for youth players.

As a result of the class action suit, which was filed in August 2014, new initiatives will be instated by the federation that will prohibit players who are 10 years old and younger from heading the ball. Additionally, players who are between the ages of 11 and 13 will soon have a heading limit during practice.

U.S. Soccer will also modify its substitution rules, in an effort to aid players who are suspected of having a concussion.

The suit, which was originally filed against FIFA, U.S. Soccer and the American Youth Soccer Organization by parents of a group of youth players, sought only rule changes with no financial motives.

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A judge dismissed the case against FIFA during the summer, and the complaint was later adjusted to be filed solely against U.S. Soccer.

The specifics of the newly implemented policies will be announced in the next 30 days.

U.S. Soccer says it has been working on concussion policy and player safety reform prior to the lawsuit, releasing the following in a statement:

The genesis for developing the campaign was unrelated to the lawsuit as U.S. Soccer has been working on a player safety campaign since long before the lawsuit was filed. The campaign was developed with the help of medical experts to provide coaches, players, parents and referees with information, guidance and additional educational materials to improve the management of injuries, including concussions.

- Kayla Lombardo

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