The National Alliance for Youth Sports believes it is not appropriate for children to head the ball before high school, or before age 14 in age-based leagues, as exposing children to this aspect of the game at the younger levels increases the risk of concussions and other head injuries. Delaying the introduction of heading until later in their development enables youngsters to focus on the fundamentals of the game, and learning to control the ball with other parts of their body, while protecting their brains. Eliminating heading does not affect the quality of a child’s experience in soccer, but it does help ensure a safer playing environment for them to learn, grow and develop.