New Jersey Youth Soccer partners with concussion tech company

New Jersey Youth Soccer has partnered with a sports tech firm that specializes in concussion protocol implementation, taking a step towards advancing player safety in youth soccer.

The soccer organization on Tuesday announced a partnership with Headcheck Health, becoming the first statewide soccer association to partner with the Canadian firm. The organization, whose clientele includes Major League Soccer, will provide NJYS with digital software to help implement existing concussion protocols in real-time for use by players, coaches and staff.

“We are excited to partner with Headcheck to expand our commitment to the safety of our athletes,” Evan Dabby, executive director of NJYS, said in a statement. “Our vision is to provide fun and safe soccer experiences at all ages and abilities for the youth soccer community and this partnership is the perfect fit.”

The software will initially be used by members of their Olympic Development Program, or ODP, and will be available to all NJYS teams and players, officials said. The nonprofit organization is affiliated with U.S. Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Federation, and includes more than 100,000 players aged 5 to 19, more than 20,000 coaches, and thousands of volunteers.

New Jersey Youth Soccer partners with concussion tech company

This partnership comes as conversations around concussion safety and prevention have evolved from issues exclusive to professional leagues like the NFL and NHL, to conversations that now include all levels of the sports world, including youth athletes.

Harrison Brown, co-founder and chief executive of Headcheck Health, said the company was founded in 2013 to help streamline the implementation of concussion protocols as the topic of concussions exploded. That implementation becomes more pertinent the lower the level of sport.

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