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LHSAA and LHSCA Officially Endorse USA Football’s Heads Up Football Program

Posted: 11-03-2015 | Categories: Football, LHSCA, Coaches


LHSAA becomes 11th high school athletic association to endorse Heads Up Football to advance coaching education

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) and the Louisiana High School Coaches Association have endorsed USA Football’s Heads Up Football® program for the betterment of the state’s student-athletes. The LHSAA is the 11th high school athletic association in the country to endorse the USA Football program. USA Football is the sport’s national governing body and trains more high school and youth football coaches combined than any organization in the U.S.

In preparation for the 2016 football season, the LHSAA recommends that all of its 298 football-playing member schools employ Heads Up Football, which has earned the endorsement of leaders in medicine, child advocacy and sport.

Created and administered by independent non-profit USA Football, Heads Up Football establishes important standards rooted in the best available science. The program, available to all U.S. high schools, is employed by more than 1,100 high schools nationwide. On a local level, the New Orleans Saints have reinforced the Heads Up Football program through several clinics educating coaches, parents and players about the certification program. In addition to increasing awareness across the state, the Saints have provided grants to high schools to cover the enrollment fees required in the nationally-endorsed coaching education and athlete safety program. The events hosted by the Saints include Player Safety Clinics for coaches, Moms Clinics and forums with regional youth football leaders with the goal to expand and encourage youth and high school teams to enroll in the USA Football program.

Heads Up Football is a comprehensive approach to teach and play the No. 1 participatory sport of U.S. high school boys. Supported by the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the program teaches tackling and blocking techniques designed to reduce helmet contact while addressing all-sport-relevant topics with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and response; sudden cardiac arrest protocols; hydration and heat preparedness; and instruction on proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting.

Every high school that participates in Heads Up Football designates a Player Safety Coach (PSC) from its football coaching staff. PSCs are trained by USA Football to guide, direct and monitor the program’s implementation as well as lead in-person training for fellow coaches, parents and players. PSCs have access to USA Football clinics statewide throughout the spring and summer to learn Heads Up Football protocols and techniques.

Coaches enrolled in Heads Up Football complete an online certification course developed by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and USA Football.

“The safety of our student-athletes remains my number one priority, and USA Football’s Heads Up Football promotes just that,” LHSAA Executive Director EDDIE BONINE said. “The partnership between the LHSAA, our state’s high school coaches association, the New Orleans Saints and USA Football is a prime example of the collaborative work that we continue to put forward for our young people.”

“The Louisiana High School Coaches Association is proud to endorse USA Football’s Heads Up Football program,” Louisiana High School Coaches Association Director TERENCE WILLIAMS said. “This program will advance how our coaches teach the sport’s fundamentals, make it even more fun to play and provide a baseline in safety training that can benefit coaches in every sport.”

“We are excited about the educational and injury prevention opportunities that this program will bring to the student-athletes of Louisiana,” added DR. GREGORY STEWART, chairman of the Louisiana High School Athletics Association Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. The committee, comprised of physicians, orthopedic surgeons, professional healthcare managers and high school and collegiate athletic trainers, fully endorses USA Football’s Heads Up Football program.

USA Football’s Heads Up Football program includes the following components:

Coaching education

  • Coaches successfully complete online training through the NFHS-USA Football High School Heads Up Football course at, covering football fundamentals and all-sport-relevant topics of concussion recognition and response, sudden cardiac arrest protocols and hydration and heat preparedness.

Concussion recognition and response

  • Coaches gain in-person instruction and are assessed on CDC concussion recognition and response.
  • Coaches, parents and players are taught concussion-related protocols at the start of the season.

Equipment fitting

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

Heads Up Blocking and Tackling

  • Series of fundamental drills reinforce tackling and blocking mechanics, teaching players how to perform these basic football skills with a focus on reducing helmet contact.

Heat and hydration

  • Coaches, parents and players learn heat and hydration safety measures provided by the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut.

Player Safety Coach

  • Appointed by each high school, this individual ensures that High School Heads Up Football principles and protocols are properly taught and applied within a program.

“The commitment to football student-athletes and coaches across the state shown by the LHSAA, the Louisiana High School Coaches Association and the Saints establishes a new standard, employing the best available science,” USA Football CEO SCOTT HALLENBECK said. “Coaches are teachers. Supporting them with education is a powerful catalyst to change for the better how players are taught and safety is addressed.”

The LHSAA is the 11th state high school athletic association to stand with sport and medical experts in endorsing USA Football’s Heads Up Football program for the good of its student-athletes, joining Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon and Washington.

Some of the medical and sport backers of USA Football’s Heads Up Football program include:

Amateur Athletic Union Michigan H.S. Football Coaches Assoc. National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
American College of Sports Medicine Minnesota Football Coaches Association National Police Athletic League
American Football Coaches Association National Association of Sports Officials North Carolina Coaches Association
American Medical Society for Sports Med. National Athletic Trainers Association Northern Va. Football Coaches Assoc.
Arizona Coaches Association NATA Research & Education Foundation Oregon School Activities Association
Big 12 Conference National Fed. of State High School Assoc. Pac-12 Conference
Big Ten Conference National Football League Pop Warner Little Scholars
Boys and Girls Clubs of America NFL Alumni Association Pro Football Athletic Trainers Society
Indiana Football Coaches Association NFL Head, Neck & Spine Committee Pro Football Hall of Fame
Korey Stringer Institute NFL Physicians Society Sport Safety International
Maxwell Football Club Nat’l Interscholastic Athletic Admin. Assoc. Sports & Fitness Industry Association

About the LHSAA: The LHSAA is a private entity that provides and regulates interscholastic athletic programs that promote fair and equitable competition among its member schools that is in the best interest of the student-athlete. For more information about the LHSAA, visit or follow on Facebook at, on Twitter @LHSAA and on Instagram @lhsaa.

About the LHSCA: The LHSCA is a sub-organization of the LHSAA that primarily focuses on coaches’ education in interscholastic athletics. For more information about the LHSCA, visit or follow on Twitter @THELHSCA.

About USA Football: Indianapolis-based USA Football ( is the sport’s national governing body, leading the game’s development for youth, high school and other amateur players. The independent nonprofit partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and sport to establish important standards rooted in the best available science. USA Football advances coaching education and player skill development for safer play and positive experiences through athletics. Follow USA Football at or on Twitter @USAFootball.

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