More Than 900 Youth Leagues Commit To Safer Football Through USA Football's Heads Up Football Program

Apr 24, 2013, 14:39 ET from USA Football

INDIANAPOLIS, April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 900 youth football leagues across the United States representing more than 200,000 players have committed to the health and safety of their young players by adopting Heads Up Football, a new USA Football pilot program for the 2013 season dedicated to making the game better and safer.

The Heads Up Football program promotes a positive youth football experience and advances player safety by providing coaching education and teaching resources that benefit players, parents and coaches. Heads Up Football aims to take the head out of the game.

USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams.

Heads Up Football is comprised of five primary elements:

Heads Up Tackling

  •  USA Football's Heads Up Tackling technique, endorsed by medical and football experts, teaches players to keep their heads up and out of the line of contact.

Coaching certification

  • All coaches within a youth program are trained to teach the game's fundamentals by completing USA Football's nationally accredited Level 1 Coaching Certification Course.

Concussion recognition and response

  • Coaches learn and are assessed on CDC concussion recognition and response through USA Football's Level 1 Coaching Certification Course.
  • Coaches, parents and players are taught concussion-related protocols at the start of the season at a leaguewide clinic and have them reinforced throughout the season.

Player Safety Coach

  • Appointed by each participating Heads Up Football youth organization. This individual is trained by USA Football to implement Heads Up Football's player safety protocols, including coaching certification, and conducts safety clinics for coaches, parents and players.

Equipment fitting

  • Coaches, parents and players are taught proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting.

Seventy-eight former NFL players will participate in the program as Heads Up Football Ambassadors, working with youth leagues. Former NFL standouts CARL BANKS, RANDALL CUNNINGHAM and BARRY SANDERS are among those serving as Heads Up Football Ambassadors. They will attend practices and games while endorsing Heads Up Football.

Parents can help ensure their youth football players are participating in a better and safer brand of football by visiting

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Heads Up Football