6 National Governing Body Buzz-Phrases Decoded

Bombarded with beaucoup buzz-phrases from your sport governing body?  Need a quick primer?  Here are a few recent phrases that YLMs have asked us at LeagueNetwork to summarize.

USA Football:   Heads Up Football

Heads Up Football is a joint effort of USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck and NFL authorities including Dallas Cowboys EVP and Chair of the NFL Foundation Charlotte Jones Anderson to eliminate head trauma from youth football by teaching safe blocking, tackling, concussion and equipment management techniques.  The Heads Up program involves four steps: First, Heads Up Certification of Player Safety Coaches to serve a league.  Second, the Player Safety Coach trains other coaches on how to keep players’ heads up and avoid use of the head in tackling and blocking. Third, the Player Safety Coach engages players, parents and coaches to reinforce the technique. And fourth, ongoing guidance in technique.  More at USAfootball.com/headsup.

Little League & USA Baseball:  Baseball Bat Moratorium

In 2011 Little League prohibited use of bats with barrels bigger than 2-1/4” or made with composite materials (not wood or aluminum or other metal) because the bats performed better than the level printed on the bat.  2-1/4” bats are tested in a lab for their BPF (Bat Performance Factor).  The moratorium came in response to a rash of injuries to pitchers from balls batted by composite bats.  A new set of bat performance testing rules will come into effect for the 2018 season.

Little League & USA Baseball: Pitch Count Limits

Pitchers must be removed from the game as a pitcher (they can take another position, except catcher if they throw more than 41 pitches) once they hit the pitch counts by age group:

17-18: 105 pitches/day                  13-16: 95             11-12: 85             9-10: 75                7-8: 50

US Lacrosse: Girls Headgear Rules

While girls cannot wear the same hard helmets that boys lacrosse teams wear, effective January 1, 2017, any field player choosing to wear headgear will only be allowed to wear headgear that meets the soft-helmet (ASTM F3137) standard for women’s lacrosse.  The state of Florida now requires that girls wear soft helmets, and other states may follow suit.

US Soccer Federation & AYSO:  Heading the Ball

In November 2015, the US Soccer Federation outlawed heading of the ball in games or practices for players 10 years or under, and players 11 to 13 can only do it in practice, not in games.  The new regulations followed 15 months of class action lawsuits from parents groups concerned about the high level of concussions in soccer.

Return-to-Play (RTP) Guidelines Following Concussion

In 2014, the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy introduced the following 6-step Graduated RTP Protocol following a concussion.  Timelines for the steps vary by sport and severity of injury.

Steps     Activity                                 Objective

Step 1    No activity                           For recovery

Step 2    Light aerobic exercise     Increased heart rate

Step 3    Sport-specific exercise   Add movement

Step 4    Non-contact training       Exercise, coordination, cognitive load

Step 5    Full-contact practice       Restores athlete confidence and skills

Step 6    Return to play

Got a buzz-phrase that’s confusing your team of YLMs?  Send it to Editor@LeagueNetwork.com, and we’ll put it in our next Governing Body Buzz-Phrases Explained columns.

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