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BBFA U12 County Cups - FA Heading Trial

Both our Boys & Girls County Cup Competitions have been included within the FA's Heading Trial for the 2022/23 Season.

We our excited to announce that our U12 County Cups (Both Boys & Girls Competitions) have been included within the FA's Heading Trial for the 2022/23 Season.

Please see the Q&A below for any questions or queries you may have:

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)

During this trial, indirect free-kicks will be introduced into mini-Soccer for the purpose of restarting play in the event of a deliberate header only. They will not be used in any other circumstance during mini-soccer.

All grassroots competitions with age groups including Under 12s and below have been invited to apply to be a part of this trial. Should any league be accepted, they have been encouraged to be liaise directly with their club's officials. 

You can access all England Football Guidance on the Heading Trial via the link below:

England Football Heading Guidance + FAQs

If you have any further queries regarding the FA Heading Trial, please contact us via email.