On March 21, 2016, the Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) provided a rule change for competitions that the State Referee Program will adhere to and referees will enforce.
For age group divisions 11U and younger-
Whenever the ball strikes a player in the head, play is stopped. The proper restart depends upon whether the player deliberately played the ball with his or her head. If deliberate, the proper restart is an indirect free kick to the opposing team. If this occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred. If the play by the head is deemed inadvertent, then the proper restart is a dropped ball.
- Referees who accept assignments at 11U and younger must enforce this rule
- It is not a modification to the LOTG but a local rule of competition
- "Ball to head" requires a whistle and a quick evaluation/dtermination if player needs assistance. Play is restarted with a dropped ball.
- "Head to ball" requires a whistle and a quick evaluation/dtermination if player needs assistance. Play is restarted with an indirect free kick for the opponents.
- There is no need to delay the restart at every stoppage, but if in the referee's judgment the player is hurt, particularly around the head and neck, stop the game and allow competent help to tend to the player.
Updated February 14, 2018