Guidelines from SYFA re heading the ball

This email has been sent to League and Regional Secretaries, the same information has also been distributed to all clubs, however please feel free to share throughout any other appropriate forums.
Following Dr Willie Stewart’s recent study into dementia risks in former professional footballers, the SYFA has now updated our guidance accordingly.
We would recommend, with immediate effect, that any drills which involve heading the ball are removed from all training sessions for age groups up to, and including, under 11s (7 v 7 teams).  As far as possible, heading the ball during games at these age groups should also be avoided.
The SYFA would also take this opportunity to remind all of our coaches and officials that if any player, at any age group, is suspected of having a concussion they must immediately cease playing in the game and should not re-join the match. Coaches and officials are also reminded of NHS advice on concussion and head injury, and should seek immediate medical advice if symptoms continue or worsen, or if a player is suspected of having lost consciousness. We have attached the Sport Scotland's Concussion Guidance, which was previously sent out to leagues and regions in November 2018.
The SYFA is committed to ensuring the safest environment possible for children and young people to play football. Although there is not yet a definitive link between heading the ball and brain injury, it is essential that we take the relevant precautions to best protect our players.

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