GLASGOW, Scotland (AP)Heading the ball in training sessions the days before and after matches will be banned across all levels of professional soccer in Scotland.

Exercises involving repeated heading will also be limited to one day per week, according to new guidelines from the Scottish Football Association (SFA) announced on Monday.

The rules follow research by the SFA into the link between heading, head injury and neurodegenerative disease in football.

”The guidelines have been written with player welfare at the foremost consideration,” the SFA said in a statement. ”The possible link between heading, head injury and neurodegenerative disease in football will continue to be the subject of scientific research and these guidelines will continue to be reviewed in the light of any new evidence.”

Heading has been limited in youth soccer in Scotland since 2020, with a total ban in training for the under-12 age group.

The new guidelines follow consultation with 50 clubs across the professional men’s and women’s games, along with both the players’ and managers’ associations.

Over 70 percent of managers supported the introduction of heading guidelines and more than 64 percent of players believe heading should be limited in training, according to the research.

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports