NYSA Player Safety Policies

Novato Youth Soccer Association
Player Safety Policy / Heading of the Soccer Ball

Over the past few years, there has been an increased awareness regarding concussions and youth soccer players heading the soccer ball. While injuries may occur during the course of heading the soccer ball, NYSA is vested in creating a safe environment for our players. NYSA has adopted the following policy with respect to the education and action of heading the soccer ball.
Parental Approval Policy
Regardless of a player’s age, a parent may elect to forbid their player from heading the soccer ball. In all cases, a player’s playing time will not be impacted, and the coach will fully support the parents decision.
Education and Action of Heading of the Soccer Ball Policy (All Ages participating in U6, U7, U8, U10)
NYSA will mandate that no player under the age of 10, participating in the NYSA fall recreational league, shall not be taught by a coach, or attempt to head the ball. All coaches shall work to educate their players that heading the ball is not permitted at their respective age.
Education and Action of Heading of the Soccer Ball Policy (All Ages participating in U12, U4, U16, U19)

Heading will not be permitted in the Fifth/Sixth Grade (Under 12) level. If team A heads the ball, team B will be given an indirect free kick. If the heading foul occurs inside the 18 yard box, the opposing team will be awarded an indirect free kick at the top of the 18 yard box. 


In all cases, the center referee should notify the player that heading is not permitted in the Fifth/Sixth (Under 12) grade age level. The referee shall not take additional action such as a yellow or red card, however the referee at his/her discretion may elect to warn the coach, asking that coach to remove the player from the field if the heading offenses continue.