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9 of nation’s 10 largest school districts adopt Heads Up Football

October 11, 2018 / Football
New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago are among the U.S. public school districts enrolled for coaching education and player safety protocols within USA Football’s nationally endorsed Heads Up Football program this fall.

Nine of the 10 largest U.S. public school districts — and 16 of the 20 largest — are enrolled in the USA Football program on either high school or middle school levels. USA Football is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and is the sport’s national governing body.

For the second consecutive year, more than 3,000 high schools are enrolled in Heads Up Football, which has earned the support of three of the largest U.S.-based sports medicine organizations: the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the National Athletics’ Trainers Association. Combined, these three organizations comprise more than 50,000 members across 90 countries spanning 70 occupations within sports medicine.

“Forward thinking by academic leaders sets a significant example for others,” said USA Football CEO Scott Hallenbeck. “Another win for student-athletes is how schools and their districts now enroll in Heads Up Football annually, underscoring the education community’s commitment to nationally endorsed standards and smarter play.”

» RELATED: High schools in all states using Heads Up Football

“Student-athletes’ safety is at the forefront for us, making our Heads Up Football enrollment a vital step forward for smarter and better play,” said Trenton Cornelius of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Interscholastic Athletics Department. “The techniques and protocols USA Football puts forth through this program benefits our district-wide family with a number of best practices that are relevant to many sports that our students love to play.”

The following U.S. school districts, ranked numerically by size, stand among the country’s 20 largest and are committed to educate their coaches through Heads Up Football.

1. New York City Public Schools Athletic League 
2. Los Angeles Unified School District 
3. Chicago Public Schools 
4. Miami-Dade County Public Schools 
5. Clark County (Nev.) School District 
6. Broward County (Fla.) Public Schools 
8. Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Schools 
9. Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools 
10. The School District of Palm Beach County (Fla.) 
11. Fairfax County (Va.) Public Schools 
12. Hawai’i State Department of Education 
14. Dallas Independent School District 
15. Wake County (N.C.) Public School System 
17. Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Schools 
18. The School District of Philadelphia 
19. San Diego Unified School District

Heads Up Football instructs coaches on the following player health protocols and skill-based fundamentals:

  • Proper equipment fitting
  • CDC concussion recognition and response
  • Sudden cardiac arrest protocols
  • Heat preparedness and hydration protocols from the Korey Stringer Institute
  • Shoulder tackling and blocking

Some school communities receive in-kind grants and financial assistance for program enrollment from state high school athletic associations, USA Football partner ESPN, the NFL Foundation and charitable foundations of NFL clubs.


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