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New rule banning heading in youth football games

19 May 2024 23:59 (UTC+04:00)
New rule banning heading in youth football games

The Football Association (FA) is introducing a new rule aimed to phase out deliberate heading in grassroots youth football games across England, Azernews reports, citing BBC.

The new rule is aimed at under-11 games and below, and will cover all league, club and affiliated school matches.

This is the latest new rule from the FA around headers in football.

Previously FA guidelines banned headers in practice and training sessions for children under the age of 12.

The rule has been introduced after the International Football Association Board tested it out over two seasons.

It will start in the 2024-25 season with the ban in place in all under-seven to under-nine matches, and then expand to the under-10 level in 2025-2026, and the under-11s the season after.

With the new rule, deliberately heading the ball will mean the opposite team are awarded an indirect free-kick.

This will be taken at the point the ball was headed, or if in the penalty area, the game will restart at the nearest sideline of the penalty area.

Lots of people are worried about how headers may affect footballers' health.

Last year research found a link between football and an increased risk of developing the brain condition, dementia.

The new rule is designed to reduce the risk of head injuries.

The FA said: "Our aim is to also create more technical opportunities for players with the ball at their feet, allow for more effective playing time, and to reduce the amount of time the ball is in the air during a match."

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