Hopefully we will have a great day for tomorrow, when most regions open their spring season. However, much to cover:
If your region is going to restrict header, which is the suggested thing for the Spring, the following applies:
Heading the Ball Statement from AYSO National (from Web Site http://goo.gl/pRRJjK )
1. Consistent with the U.S. Soccer mandates on heading the ball, heading is banned for all division players U-11 (U-12 and below for programs without single age divisions) and below in both practices and games.
Heading for players in U-14 is limited to a maximum of thirty (30) minutes per week with no more than 15-20 headers, per player. There is no restriction on heading in matches.
2. An indirect free kick will be awarded to the opposing team if a player age 10 or younger, deliberately touches the ball with his/her head during a game.
(a) The indirect free kick is to be taken from the place where the player touched the ball with his/her head.
(b) Indirect free kick awarded to the attacking team inside the opposing team’s GOAL [change is mine] area, must be taken on the goal [change is mine] area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the player touched the ball with his/her head.
3. Neither cautions nor send offs shall be issued for persistent infringement or denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity related to the heading infraction.
Note, that this is different from what is on AYSO website. I called National today to get the policy but could not find anyone with the answer. So to be consistent with USSF, FIFA, and State Youth Referee commissions, I have change the wording from Penalty to goal area. Use this definition for the Spring season. This rule should be in effect if everyone was trained and updated on the change for the Spring. That was and still is the intent, to protect players from injury and it is what USSF is doing effective immediately. I take full responsibility for this wording.
Now, for those of you who attended one of my classes at Section Expo, you know of some of the law changes to become effective June 1st. [If your season is already in progress, then will take place at the start of your next season]. If you weren’t at Expo, and haven’t heard, the biggest rewrite of the Laws of the Game has taken place, been voted on, and approved by FIFA. There is a summary in the law book about 4.5 pages long with the Law Changes. I do NOT know if these changes will be in effect for Section Games, but my suggestion is that they will not be. AYSO will have to change manuals, tests, guidelines, etc and has a lot of work to do to get the word out. You can see the full IFAB [yes, the name was changed] Laws of the Game here:
I will once again be visiting unannounced various regions this Spring to see how things are going. I don’t announce so you don’t have to worry, it is not an inspection, just me getting a feel for how things are going. I will try to meet the RRA after my visit to let you know what I saw.
Have a good start to the season tomorrow. As always, we are here to serve you. Feel free to contact me with any questions.