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September 17, 2013BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Saturday is Youth Football Day at Memorial Stadium. In association with USA Football and its Heads Up Football initiative, the Indiana football program will host a Youth Clinic for players in elementary school and younger.
The youth teams will get to support the Hoosiers on The Walk at 5:30 p.m., take part in a football fundamentals clinic and then lead the team on the field for Indiana's showdown with Missouri at 8 p.m.
"This is a great opportunity for youth teams to enjoy a day of Hoosier Football," Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson said. "We are really trying to build our game by teaching and working with USA Football and its Heads Up Football campaign on proper fundamentals. It's an awesome chance to enhance our game and make Hoosier Football stronger in Central Indiana."
The non-contact, no pads clinic will be conducted by IU Football and USA Football staff. All Hoosier players who do not dress for the game will serve as instructors at eight different stations on the IU Practice Fields and inside Mellencamp Pavilion.
Heads Up Football, created by USA Football with medical experts and football leaders on multiple levels, encompasses coach certification, safer tackling techniques, Center for Disease Control and Prevention concussion recognition and response protocols and proper equipment fitting.
Indianapolis-based USA Football is the sport's national governing body, leading the game's development for youth, high school and other amateur football players.
Nearly 2,800 youth leagues across the United States representing approximately 600,000 players and 90,000 coaches have committed to the health and safety of their players by adopting Heads Up Football. A high school version of Heads Up Football is being piloted by 34 schools across 10 states this season with a national rollout planned for 2014.
"The health and safety of every young football player is our No. 1 priority. Coach Wilson and the Big Ten Conference share in that commitment by supporting our Heads Up Football program," USA Football executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. "We value the Big Ten's trust and continued leadership as we deliver significant behavior change in our sport for a better, safer game."
USA Football's five primary elements of Heads Up Football:
Heads Up TacklingSM
• 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.
• All coaches complete USA Football's Level 1 Coaching Certification course (youth football) or USA Football's varsity-level coach training course (high school football).
Concussion recognition and response
• Coaches learn and are assessed on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and response protocols. • Coaches, parents and players are taught concussion-related protocols at the start of the season and have them reinforced throughout the year.
Player Safety Coach
• Appointed by each participating Heads Up Football high school or youth program. This individual is trained by USA Football to implement Heads Up Football's player safety protocols, including coaching certification, and conducts safety clinics for fellow coaches, parents and players.
• Coaches, parents and players are taught proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting.
For more information, visit www.usafootball.com.