Per the announcement from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) on November
9th, AYSA announced that our Board of Directors decided to adopt the USSF changes
immediately with regards to heading the ball.
On December 2nd, USSF announced a clarification/update to this rule change - Heading
is now banned for the Under-11 age group and younger. This change will take
immediate effect for all AYSA games and organized team events. They have also
updated the rule which limits heading in the Under-12 & Under-13 age groups. These
changes can be found below:
UNDER-11 AGE-GROUP & YOUNGER:
- No player in any age group from Under-11 and younger is allowed to head a ball in
any activity sanctioned by Arizona Youth Soccer Association. This includes any and all
practices, matches, and training activities. Affected persons shall include all players in
the above-mentioned age groups who are members of Arizona Youth Soccer
Association, its member leagues, clubs, affiliates, and tournaments.
- This heading rule will pertain to the use of any and all types of balls, regardless of
construction, size, material, or hardness.
- AYSA hereby instructs all sanctioned events to add the following into its event rules:
"No heading in age groups Under-11 and younger is allowed. If, during the course of a
match, a header is performed, play will be stopped and will resume with an indirect kick
for the opposing team."
- AYSA hereby instructs all sanctioned entities (clubs, leagues, etc.), to place into effect
a similar rule banning heading during practices, training, etc.
UNDER-12 & UNDER-13 AGE GROUPS:
- Heading training is to be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes per week with no more
that 15-20 headers per player, per week.
- All coaches should be instructed to teach and emphasize the importance of proper
techniques for heading the ball.
- Headers during AYSA sanctioned games are permissible for age-groups Under 12 and
In addition, the United States Soccer Federation has introduced a comprehensive player
health and safety program called Recognize to Recover. The first-of-its-kind program
aims to reduce injuries in soccer players of all ages and promote safe play by those on
and around the field. To visit this webpage, please click here > http://bit.ly/21NfYxk
Arizona Youth Soccer Association