ECNL Club Bans Repetitive Heading Drills for 13U and Younger Teams

There are some 60 or so soccer clubs that make up the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), which is the most prestigious grouping of youth soccer clubs in the nation.header

At least one of those clubs, Lone Star SC, has taken it upon itself to ban repetitive heading drills in practices. The club, which is based in Austin, communicated the following to parents on its concussion page:

“Effective Sept the 1st, 2014, Lonestar Soccer Club is implementing an indefinite ‘ban’ on repetitive heading practices for all U’13 and younger teams. All coaches at the Recreational, JR. Academy and Select Levels of play will be responsible for ensuring the successful implementation of this ban. Please note that heading the ball is a part of the game of soccer, and heading the ball is not being ‘banned’ completely at these age groups, just any form of repetitive ‘heading’ practice exercises, e.g. players in pairs serving the ball to each other repetitively, over and over again to perform headers. Examples of scenarios where you could still see heading in training sessions, from players at the U13 and younger age groups include, but are not limited to: Any small sided or full sided game, crossing and finishing sessions, set piece exercises.”

The club also discussed the importance of baseline testing on its “concussion page,” and the fact that it is exploring “optional” testing for players. For more, visit:’s%20Fall%202014/LSC%202014-15%20Concussion%20%26%20’Baseline%20Testing’%20Policy%20.pdf


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