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10th Nov 2015

Children in America banned from heading footballs in new concussion ruling

Safety first

Gareth Makim

A landmark legal settlement in the United States means that all children under the age of 11 will no longer be able to head the ball playing football.

The settlement is the result of a class action lawsuit against six youth soccer organisations and will also see limits placed on headers for children between the ages of 11 and 13.

US Soccer will also implement new standards of care for youth players suspected of sustaining a head injury, along with the presence of independent health professionals at all matches.

The recommendations follow a call from former US women’s international Cindy Parlow Cone to elimante headers up to the age of 14.

Speaking at last week’s Web Summit in Dublin, Parlow Cone, whose career was ended by concussions, said such a move would cut the number of youth concussions in soccer by 30 per cent.