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Header Policy--Took Effect 2015/2016 Season

AYSA Members,

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:


- 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.


- 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

Thank you,

Arizona Youth Soccer Association