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Apr, 2016

Enforcement of Penalties for Deliberate Heading, U11 and younger

Effective this Spring, 2016, referees will be required to enforce the no heading rule established by US Soccer.  All referees licensed through Indiana Youth Soccer Association have received notification of this rule directly from US Soccer. Referees will enforce heading restrictions as per the age-level of the contest. [Individual player compliance with the heading restrictions is the coach's responsibility.] If a player who is competing in U11 games or younger deliberately heads the ball in a game, the referee will award an indirect free kick (IFK) to the opposing team from the spot where the player headed the ball. If the deliberate header occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred. This is also the case in terms of U11 players playing up on an older team. While it is not an IFK, the player and the coach are to monitor compliance with the new mandates. Even though the individual is playing up, they still are not to engage in deliberately heading the ball.  This is still the responsibility of the coach, the player and the player's parents.
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