Home ACC, USA Football join forces in promotion of player safety

ACC, USA Football join forces in promotion of player safety


acc kickoffThe ACC today joined more than two dozen leading organizations across medicine, child advocacy and athletics to partner with USA Football by endorsing the independent nonprofit’s Heads Up Football® program.

As USA Football’s longest running conference partner, the ACC is excited to be part of this latest initiative, which is dedicated to advancing and promoting a better, safer game.

Heads Up Football establishes important standards rooted in education for safer play. Approximately 5,500 youth leagues representing 900,000 players and 150,000 coaches will register for the program this season. More than 750 high schools across 44 states have registered for the program as well. Heads Up Football encompasses coaching education, heat preparedness and hydration protocols, concussion recognition and response, Heads Up Tackling techniques that aim to reduce helmet contact and proper equipment fitting.

“The health and safety of every young player is USA Football’s number one priority, and we share in that vision,” said ACC commissioner john swofford. “USA Football leads the game’s development at all levels of youth football by advancing coaching education and player safety. That strong commitment served as the motivation for our official endorsement and broader partnership.”

Heads Up Football delivers a high level of coaching education, hydration protocols, concussion recognition and response, and Heads Up Tackling techniques that aim to reduce helmet contact and proper equipment fitting.

The ACC will join USA Football and Heads Up Football in the following initiatives:

  • A  PSA campaign featuring the ACC head football coaches, fully co-branded by the ACC and USA Football, will be incorporated into media distribution assets and in-game venues.
  • USA Football will continue to support the Conference’s FUNdamentals youth clinic held at the ACC Football Championship Game
  • USA Football will partner with the Conference on two additional clinics annually:

o   One (1) clinic for parents/youth football coaches at the ACC Football Championship Game

o   A second clinic for youth at future ACC Football Kickoffs or other public event that will feature the Conference’s head football coaches and/or student-athletes

  • Ongoing discussions between the ACC and USA Football will focus on continued efforts to work together to advance the common cause of player safety.

“This is yet another example and representation of the leadership position the ACC has taken over the past 12 months on central issues related to the future of the great game of football,” Swofford said.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, National PTA, and the National Federation of State High School Associations stand among the program’s numerous endorsers.  USA Football, based in Indianapolis, is the sport’s national governing body.

“We greatly value the continued trust and commitment shown by Commissioner Swofford and each of the ACC’s universities through our partnership,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “By establishing important standards rooted in education, we are advancing a better and safer game for young athletes who enjoy the fun, fitness and other rewards gained by playing this exceptional team sport.”

About USA Football: Indianapolis-based USA Football (www.usafootball.com) 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 education. USA Football advances coaching education and player skill development for safer play and a positive football experience.



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.