No Heading Rule

No Heading Rule U11 and Younger

U11 and Younger
  • US Soccer guidelines are players in U11 programs and younger shall not engage in heading, either in practice or in games.
U12 & U13 age groups
  • US Soccer guidelines are for players U12 and U13 programs, that heading in training be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes per week with no more than 15-20 headers per day, per week
All coaches should be instructed to teach and emphasize the importance of proper techniques for heading the ball.

Beginning March 31, 2016

At age group divisions U11 and younger-

Whenever the ball strikes a player in the head, play is stopped.  The proper restart depends upon whether the player deliberately played the ball with his or her head.  If deliberate, the proper restart is an indirect free kick to the opposing team.  If this occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.  If the play by the head is deemed inadvertent, then the proper restart is a dropped ball.