The soccer community throughout the USA is emphasizing attention to head injuries and concussions. Here are some guidelines as we presently know and apply them in games on ACCYSL fields.

(A) Become Informed And Educated

(1) CalNorth : http://calnorth.org/concussions/
(2) NorCal : http://norcalpremier.com/NorCalResources/891020.html

(B) No Heading By Younger Players In Games Starting Spring 2016

Both CalNorth and NorCal are implementing the recent US Soccer ruling that bans deliberate heading of the ball during games.

(1) CalNorth : no deliberate heading by players 12 years old or younger
(2) NorCal : no deliberate heading by players 11 years old or younger

Remember that Rec and D4 Rec games come under the jurisdiction of CalNorth.

Referees should remind the coaches about this ”no deliberate heading“ policy prior to the start of the game. Coaches and soccer organizations should make every effort to educate themselves, players and parents about this issue. The goal is to insure voluntary compliance and cooperation by teams and their supporters during games.

(3) Game Restart : When a player deliberately heads the ball in a game, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense.  If the deliberate header occurs within the goal area (6 yard box), 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 a player does not deliberately head the ball, then play should continue.

The player should be informed about the “no deliberate heading” reason for the action.
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(C) Concussion Guidelines For Referees

If a possible head injury occurs, stop the game. Call the coach onto the field to assist the player.

(1) CalNorth : If you the referee believe a possible concussion has occurred, the player must leave the game and shall not re-enter competition or training for 24 hours. Period.

(2) NorCal : If you the referee believe a possible concussion has occurred, the player may be evaluated by a qualified health care professional (HCP) and permitted to re-enter the game after permission is given by the HCP.

The HCP must be identified by a team prior to start of the game. The HCP shall only make an evaluation of and give re-entry permission to players on the team with which they are associated, not the other team as well.
It is recommended that the referee record an official identification document for the HCP such as a driver’s license.

The referee has the final say in whether a player may re-enter the game.