Friday, June 21, 2024

Heading in football: Football Association to phase out headers in grassroots youth football

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The Football Association is to introduce a new rule to phase out deliberate heading in grassroots youth matches across England.

It will cover all leagues, clubs and any affiliated school matches, and will phase heading out for all games at under-11 level and below over the next three seasons.

The introduction of the rule follows a two-season International Football Association Board (Ifab) trial.

It will cover all under-seven to under-nine matches from the 2024-25 campaign, before expanding to include under-10 level from 2025-26 and under-11s the following season.

Research commissioned by the FA last year found former professional footballers are almost three-and-a-half times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than the general population.

Deliberately heading the ball will result in an indirect free-kick being awarded to the opposing team.

The indirect free-kick will be taken at the point where the ball was deliberately headed, or, if deliberately headed in the penalty area, the game will restart from the nearest sideline of the penalty area.

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