EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY
About the Safer Soccer campaign
Safer Soccer was launched in 2014 by the Concussion Legacy Foundation, the Santa Clara University Institute of Sports Law and Ethics (ISLE), and led by U.S. Women's Soccer legends Brandi Chastain, Cindy Parlow Cone, and Joy Fawcett. Our mission is to educate parents, coaches, and soccer stakeholders on the benefits of delaying the introduction of headers in youth soccer until high school. Our goal is youth soccer organizations will not teach or allow heading in soccer for children under the age of 14.
On November 9, 2015, the Safer Soccer campaign saw a major victory as U.S. Soccer announced a series of safety initiatives aimed at addressing concussions in youth soccer, including rules that will strictly prohibit players 10 and younger from heading the ball, and will reduce headers in practice for 11 to 13-year-old players.
Safer Soccer is part of the Concussion Legacy Foundation's Don't Hit KidsTM initiative, which aims to accelerate the reform of youth contact sports so that each sport promotes a youth version that does not allow purposeful repetitive brain trauma for children before age 14. Our Flag Football Under 14 campaign, launched in 2018, is also part of the Don't Hit KidsTM initiative.
Attempting to head the ball and colliding or falling is by far the #1 risk of concussions in youth soccer, causing more than 30,000 concussions each year. Heading accounts for nearly one third of concussions in youth soccer. Safer Soccer has widespread support among U.S. Soccer legends, who believe that this safety measure will also create more skilled players. Click here to read all the facts in the Safer Soccer White Paper.
Soccer legends: No header, no brainer
In this video, watch U.S. Soccer icon Brandi Chastain discuss the legacy she wants to leave: making the game safer for kids by eliminating headers until age 14.
Plus, U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup Champion and President of the U.S. Soccer Federation Cindy Parlow Cone discusses her approach to coaching headers in soccer, and why she supports CLF's Safer Soccer initiative to delay headers until high school.
Become a Safer Soccer Supporter
Are you ready to join the team and make the youth soccer players in your community safer? We invite youth soccer organizations to pledge to prohibit heading under high school by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The goal is universal participation so that no team has a competitive advantage based on putting child athletes at risk. You can also support the campaign by donating today.
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Reducing the amount of exposure children have to head hits is critical in any sport. Sports legends agree: banning heading in soccer before high school is key.Brandi Chastain on Safer Soccer
USWNT legend Cindy Parlow Cone discusses why supports the Safer Soccer campaign to delay headers until high school.Cindy Parlow Cone on Safer Soccer