Should young soccer players be banned from heading the ball? From The Guardian
As part of a legal settlement in November, US Soccer now recommends that players shouldn’t head the ball at age 10 and under. From 11 to 13, players may be allowed to head the ball during matches but have only limited exposure in training.
The rationale behind limiting headers for pre-teens is simple: coaches might be able to speed up soccer development, but they can’t speed up the development of kids’ brains and necks, likely leaving younger players more vulnerable to subconcussive blows that can accumulate.
Still, the medical community isn’t unanimous. Chris Koutures, lead author of an American Academy of Pediatrics report on youth soccer injuries, sees reason in a ban on heading for 10-and-under players but questions the guidelines for the next three years.