FA Guidance re heading the ball
MGL welcomes the revised guidance that the FA has produced on heading in youth football. It only affects training sessions – the FA consider that the use of heading in most matches is sufficiently low not to warrant new controls.
Essentially, the sections that concern MGL are those for players at U14-U18 level. Here it is recommended that
1) there is only one heading training session per week;
2) each session should comprise not more than 10 headers per player;
3) the distance they head the ball should be proportionate (ie “relative to the game at this age”);
4) size 5 balls can continue to be used for the older age groups but size 4 is recommended for U14s ; the FA also intend to introduce new, lighter balls;
5) contested headers, and the use of matchballs in heading training, should be restricted to the U18 age group.
Most heading training in MGL takes place in our summer training sessions, and we will be observing the new guidance when this starts. Most sessions already conform to it. Those managers who hold in-season training will also be implementing the guidance with immediate effect.