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US Soccer Federation Changes Rules to Protect Players

How the Old Rules Encouraged Injury

As a collegiate soccer player, Patrick Grange enjoyed heading the ball. It wasn’t until after his death in 2012 that he was found to have a degenerative neurological disorder linked to repeated brain trauma. In 2014, he was the first soccer player to be diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

Rule Changes Resolve a Class-Action Lawsuit

Based on these medical findings, parents and players filed suit against FIFA and the US Soccer Federation in August 2014. It is important to note that no monetary damages where pursued and that the lawsuit’s sole purpose was to bring about rule changes in order to protect players.

New Rules Protect Players from Potential Brain Injury

In July, the lawsuit against FIFA was dismissed but the suit against the US Soccer Federation was settled to the satisfaction of both parties.

The following rule changes occurred after the settlement:

  • Players 10 and younger: no headings
  • Players 11 to 13: limited headings
  • Players 14 and older: medical personnel must be present to detect any signs of a concussion

While the US Soccer Federation cannot mandate private youth groups to comply with the rule changes, they have recommended an adherence to these rules and do require all players who are a part of the US Soccer’s Youth National Teams and Development Academy to comply.

Read the ABC News article for more information regarding the details of this story.

The Role of a Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyer

As Louisiana brain injury lawyers, Anderson & Boutwell are excited to see the success that litigation has had on protecting the health of soccer players. We work hard to provide legal service to individuals who have suffered in a similar manner.

If you have suffered from a sport related brain injury please contact us as soon as possible!