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MASA Concussion Policy and
USSF No Header Mandate

Concussions in youth sports are a growing concern and the topic has received significant media attention in the past year. To help ensure the health and safety of young athletes in the program, MASA has instructed all coaches to immediately pull a child from any game or practice if a concussion is suspected and not to return that child to play until cleared by a health professional or parental consent is given.

As a parent, MASA asks that you abide by a coach's decision to pull a player, read and understand the signs and symptoms of a concussion on this CDC Concussion Fact Sheet for Youth Sports Parents, seek medical advice if a concussion is suspected, and to speak up and make the coach aware if you see a possible concussion in a game or practice that may have been missed by a coach.

Due to the risk of concussions from heading a soccer ball, US Soccer recently announced a concussion initiative on headers. PA West (the governing body of MASA) adopted the following (effective immediately):

(1) No headers for all players age 10 years old and younger, regardless of what age group program they are playing in
(2) No headers for all players in U11 programs and younger
(3) Limited headers in practice for all players between the ages of 11 and 13 (no limits in games)

Referees will award indirect free kicks to the opposing team on violations of the USSF no header mandate

MASA has adopted the above policy and will err on the side of caution and ask that u12 also adopt this policy of no headers