NWGFL are part of the FA trial to remove deliberate heading in football matches across U12 level and below in England from the start of the 2022/23 season.

During the trial we will be observing matches and collecting data, as well as gathering feedback and observations from everyone involved.

Why the trial?
• Aligns matches with training – currently heading in training at under 12s and below is eliminated or restricted.
• Support the development of more skilful players – stay on the ball when in possession.
• Player Welfare – mitigate against any potential risk that may be linked to heading the ball while research is ongoing in this area.

What exactly are the new laws that will be introduced as part of this trial?
The law changes for these trials are dictated by IFAB and state:

  1. Deliberately heading the ball is an offense punishable by an indirect free kick. This will also mean the introduction of indirect free-kicks in mini-soccer in this circumstance.
  2. The indirect free kick is taken at the point where the ball was deliberately headed, except where a player of the defending team deliberately heads the ball in their own penalty area, the indirect free kick is taken from the penalty mark.
  3. Deliberately heading the ball is not a cautionable (yellow card) or sending-off (red card) offence unless it:
  • Stops or interferes with a promising attack (yellow card)
  • Denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (red card)
  • Occur often enough to be considered “persistent misconduct” (yellow card)

The FA have developed some resources that explains the process, please see below:

Heading in Football Trial Q&A

Heading in Football Trial Guidance

Heading in Football Trial – Clubs

Heating in Football Trial – Parents

Heading in Football Trial – Coaches