PLAYER SAFETY CAMPAIGN
In the statement, it was announced that U.S. Soccer will be releasing a comprehensive player safety campaign in the coming months. The genesis for developing the campaign was unrelated to the lawsuit as U.S. Soccer has been working on a player safety campaign since long before the lawsuit was filed. The campaign was developed with the help of medical experts to provide coaches, players, parents and referees with information, guidance and additional educational materials to improve the management of injuries, including concussions.
The initiative will not only include information about head injuries, but also other important player safety topics such as heat-related illness and injury prevention.
CHANGES TO RULES ON SUBSTITUTIONS AND HEADING
The statement also provided information on specific initiatives that will be implemented soon, including modifications to substitution rules in relation to concussions, eliminating heading for children 10 and under, and limiting the amount of heading in practice for children between the ages of 11 and 13.
These are recommendations for youth members because some of the youth members joining in the initiative do not have direct authority at the local level to require the adaption of the rules. Although these are only recommendations, they are based on the advice of the U.S. Soccer medical committee, and therefore U.S. Soccer strongly urges that they be followed.
U.S. Soccer has implemented these rules as requirements for players that are part of U.S. Soccer's Youth National Teams and the Development Academy. It should be noted that Youth National Teams will continue to be bound by the substitution rules of the events in which they participate.
Protecting the health and safety of athletes and preventing injuries is critically important to U.S. Soccer. U.S. Soccer has taken a lead in education, research and proposing rule changes to improve player safety for several years, and is looking forward to continuing in that leadership position with the release of the player safety campaign.