One of the hottest topics in sports right now is concussions. As more research is being done, people are finding out how serious a concussion can be, and how often they actually occur. Parents and organizations are stepping up to ensure their kids’ safety in the sports they play.
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The United States Soccer Federation recently promulgated new rules that will hopefully reduce head injuries in youth soccer. Players ages 10 and younger will be not be allowed to head the ball. For players ages 11 to 13, headers will be reduced in practice.
The new rules result from a class-action lawsuit filed last year by parents and players, according to The New York Times. They will not be enforced in all leagues, but they will be effective for U.S. Youth Soccer national teams and academics, which include Major League Soccer youth club teams.
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Although the rules might stall the development of this skill among youth athletes, supporters believe it will be well worth it in the long run. “Concussions are simply far worse for younger athletes,” says Chris Nowinski, co-founder and executive director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Nowinski also said concussion symptoms in youth athletes are more severe and take longer to recover from than those suffered by older athletes.