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Player Safety Recommended Standards

Heads Up Football℠ Safety Checklists for Parents, Coaches and Administrators

Heads Up Football℠ is a USA Football program aimed at player safety executed in partnership with the National Football League and the Centers for Disease Control. With a goal of delivering a better, safer game, parents, leagues and coaches can each find a list of recommended standards below.

  • Ask if your player's coach has completed a comprehensive football coaching education course this year.

    Appropriate answer from the coach:
    Yes, I have completed a coaching course that covers the fundamentals of football, Heads Up Tackling, CDC-approved concussion management, equipment fitting and positive coaching philosophy.

    USA Football is home to the only football coaching course certified by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education.

    Current courses include:

    • Level 1 and level 2 national certifications

    • 9 Tackle Football Coaching Courses

    • 2 Flag Football Coaching Courses

    • 1 Parent Course

    • 5 Game Officials Courses

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
    If you don’t know about concussions, watch the videos »

  • Know how to regularly check the fit of a helmet.
    Not sure? Watch the Equipment Fitting video »

  • Make sure your player’s coach is teaching Heads Up Tackling.
    Watch our five (5) How to Tackle videos »

  • Ask if your league conducted background checks on all adult volunteers.
    Get the info about Subsidized Background Checks »

  • Complete a coaching education course.

  • Recognize and respond to suspected concussions.

  • Teach Heads Up Tackling.

  • Properly fit every helmet.

  • Use a daily practice plan.

  • Mandate a coaching education course.

  • Require concussion awareness training for coaches.

  • Hold coaches accountable for knowing and teaching Heads Up Tackling.

  • Properly maintain and fit equipment for all players.

  • Background checks for all adult volunteers.

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