Tue, February 25, 2020

Heading in football banned for children aged under 12

Heading in football banned for children aged under 12

The FA has announced new heading guidance for age groups from under-6 to under-18 which includes no heading during training until under-12’s, with a significantly amount of reduced heading for all age groups.

The guidance will be implemented immediately, however it only applies to training so that heading can still be a part of the way the game of football is played. The announcement comes after studies at the University of Glasgow were undertaken in an attempt to ascertain whether or not heading could lead to future head injuries after it was revealed that former footballers were three-and-a-half times more likely to die of brain disease compared with same aged members of the general public.

Whilst the study did not conclusively link the increased risk of brain diseases to heading the ball the FA has taken these steps in order to “mitigate against any potential risks.” With the guidance including :
• Heading guidance in training for all age groups between under-six and under-18
• No heading in training in the foundation phase (primary school children)
• Graduated approach to heading training for children in the development phase between under-12 to under-16
• Required ball sizes for training and matches for each age group
• No changes to heading in matches, taking into consideration the limited number of headers in youth games 

The issue of heading and brain injuries in football has been very topical for some time now and has stepped up since the Glasgow University research was released, former England footballer Jeff Astle died in 2002 with the coroner finding that he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which is more commonly linked to boxers or NFL players who endure repeated hits to the head, with the coroner linking Astle’s case to the repeated heading of footballs. Astle’s daughter has been an avid campaigner for rule changes in relation to heading and commented that the changes are “sensible” following the research but also called for further guidelines for over-18’s football.

The guidance will be applied in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland with Wales currently reviewing their guidelines before releasing an update later in the year with UEFA also undertaking a review so that European guidelines can be implemented.  

You can read the FA announcement here


Recent News Articles

Wed, February 01, 2023

Russian Chess Federation to leave European Chess Union for Asian Chess Federation

The Chess Federation of Russia (FCR) is set to change its continental body from the European Chess Union (ECU) to the Asian Chess Federation (ACF) following war with Ukraine. 

Read More

Tue, January 31, 2023

Scholars call on Trudeau to launch independent inquiry into sports in Canada

Canadian and international scholars have written a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling for an independent inquiry into sports in Canada. 

Read More

Mon, January 30, 2023

Italy prop Ivan Nemer suspended until 30 June for giving Benetton teammate Cherif Traorè a rotten banana for secret Santa

Italy prop Ivan Nemer has been suspended until 30 June by the Italian federation after he gave his Benetton teammate Cherif Traorè a rotten banana as part of the club’s secret Santa. 

Read More