New Heading Rules U7-U9

The FA have announced today that, following the two-year IFAB trial to remove deliberate heading from matches at U12 and below, from the 2024-25 season the following changes will be rolled out at U7-U9:

Deliberate Header Restart:

  • Deliberately heading the ball is an offence punishable by an indirect free kick
  • The indirect free kick is taken at the point where the ball was deliberately headed, except:
    • Where a player deliberately heads the ball within their own penalty area, the referee will stop the game and restart with an indirect free kick to the opposition from the nearest side line of the penalty area where the offence took place

Touchline Restart:

  • When the whole of the ball passes over the whole of the touchline, on the ground or in the air, instead of a throw-in, a pass-in/dribble-in is awarded

  • The kicker that takes the pass-in/dribble-in may touch the ball again before it is touched by another player

  • At the moment of delivering the ball:

    • The ball must be stationary on the touchline at the point where it left the pitch; only the kicker may be off the pitch

    • All opponents must stand at least five yards from the point on the touchline where the pass-in or /dribble-in is to be taken from

  • A goal cannot be scored directly from a pass-in

  • The ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves

In subsequent seasons, this rule will be expanded as follows:

  • 2025-26 season - will include U10s

  • 2026-27 season - will include U11s

Further information and resources

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