U.S. Soccer Unveils New Player Safety Initiative “Recognize to Recover

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

by DENY GALLAGHER

On Wednesday afternoon, the United States Soccer Federation officially announced a player health and safety initiative called Recognize To Recover.

As part of the new program, the Federation is implementing new education and treatment protocol in regard to concussions and other head traumas. However, the most important piece to come out of this is the banning of heading the ball for players under the age of 10, and only being able to do headers in practice until age 13.

“It is important to understand that heading, in it of itself, does not cause concussions,” said U.S. Soccer Chief Medical Officer George Chiampas. “What we are sharing with you today is the latest in our on-going effort to cement players safety at the forefront of our sport.”

The program also implements protocol for other safety concerns such as heat-related illness, dehydration, heart health, nutrition and injury prevention.

“Recognize to Recover will lead to better awareness and understanding of player health and safety initiatives and strengthen the role parents, players, coaches and officials play in preventing, protecting and addressing injuries,” said Chiampas. “While U.S. Soccer is launching the framework of Recognize to Recover today, this is just the beginning as more information around specific areas of focus will be rolled out in the coming months.”

Recognize to Recover is soccer’s first comprehensive concussion and injury prevention program anywhere in the world. Earlier this year, England’s FA unveiled their protocol for treating the head injury.

What separates R2R is the prevention education for both youth coaches and officials.

“As the national governing body of our sport, U.S. Soccer is committed to being the leader in lasting change that has a positive impact on the game,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “We created Recognize to Recover to elevate player health and safety and bring players, coaches, parents and officials together to help ensure safe play at all levels of our sport.”

For more information on R2R and the new U.S. Soccer concussion program, visit U.S Soccer.com.