The Sport and Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) Football Council, comprised of leading football products companies, has endorsed USA Football’s Heads Up Football program. Heads Up Football establishes important standards rooted in education for a safer and better game and represents the first youth sport player safety program to be endorsed by the SFIA or one of its councils in the organization’s 108-year history.
The SFIA Football Council advances best practices to put forth a safer game for all who play the sport on amateur levels. USA Football, based in Indianapolis, is the sport’s national governing body.
The SFIA Football Council’s 13 member organizations will support Heads Up Football through customer outreach and a customized microsite accessible from members’ websites and promotional materials. The Council and USA Football also will create a joint logo, which will be announced later this spring with additional initiatives.
Nearly 2,800 youth leagues across the United States registered for Heads Up Football in 2013, accounting for more than 25 percent of the youth football community. In addition, 35 high schools in 10 states piloted Heads Up Football during the 2013 season. USA Football will offer its Heads Up Football program to all youth leagues and high schools in 2014.
The SFIA Football Council joins experts in medicine, child advocacy and sport in endorsing Heads Up Football. The program encompasses USA Football’s nationally accredited coach certification course, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and response, heat and hydration protocols, equipment fitting instruction and fundamentally sound tackling techniques.
“USA Football’s Heads Up Football program delivers exactly what youth sports need today,” SFIA President and CEO Tom Cove said. “Parents of young athletes are well served when coaching education, clear and consistent direction from medical experts on player safety and a strong focus on teaching the fundamentals are the heart of their child’s youth sports program. This is the foundation of Heads Up Football.”
“We are pleased to partner with the SFIA Football Council and its members to keep our game fun for young players by providing the football community the training and education needed to foster a great sports experience,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “The council’s leadership will advance USA Football’s ability to benefit more children who love to play this game and gain its many physical fitness and social benefits.”
Other organizations that support USA Football and its Heads Up Football program include the American College of Sports Medicine; National Athletic Trainers Association; Korey Stringer Institute; Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society; National PTA; National Federation of State High School Associations; Pop Warner Little Scholars; National Police Athletic League; AAU Football; American Football Coaches Association; Atlantic Coast Conference; the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences; the NFL and NFL Foundation; and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
About SFIA: The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports and fitness product industry. SFIA’s membership represents 1,000+ premier brands who account for more than $150 billion in annual sales. As the No. 1 source for sport and fitness research, the SFIA serves as the voice of the sports and fitness industry in the media and on Capitol Hill.
Indianapolis-based USA Football (usafootball.com) is the sport’s national governing body, leading the game’s development for youth, high school and other amateur football players. The independent nonprofit partners with leading medical organizations and collaborates with football leaders on youth, high school, collegiate and professional levels for a better, safer game through coaching education and player skill advancement. USA Football was endowed by the NFL Youth Football Fund in 2002.