New regulations announced to prevent concussions - WNEM TV 5

New regulations announced to prevent concussions

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GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

Critics say this could change the game, especially the development of players.

But doctors say keeping the ball from contacting the head could help reduce concussions.

Headers are an important attribute in the game of soccer.

But a new policy handed down by U.S. Soccer, the governing body for the sport, keeps the head out of the game for the younger players.

Children under 11 cannot head the ball, those between 11 and 13 can only practice headers at practice.

"I think they learn in training how to be safe about it, when they head the ball," said Claire Guerra, a parent.

The decision got mixed reviews from the parents at Genesee Fieldhouse.

"If there's a way to prevent it, without affecting the game, obviously there's an opportunity to prevent further injury," said parent, Doug Shepson.

On Tuesday, the indoor season got rolling.

But the practice of keeping the ball on the ground, and reducing potential head contact, is something the coach of the PSG Bolton Soccer Club, Rick Miracle, said is already happening on many levels.

"For us, it's kind of a no-brainer, I guess, pun intended, right? It's making it safer, and it's something that kind of goes in line with our philosophy anyways, we're just teaching them to play," Miracle said.

Now interestingly enough, doctors say that most of the concussions do not occur when the ball hits the head, it's when the two players go up for the ball, contacting heads, smashing into each other.

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