Should young soccer players be banned from heading the ball? From The Guardian
As part of a legal settlement in November, US Soccer now recommends that players shouldn’t head the ball at age 10 and under. From 11 to 13, players may be allowed to head the ball during matches but have only limited exposure in training.
The rationale behind limiting headers for pre-teens is simple: coaches might be able to speed up soccer development, but they can’t speed up the development of kids’ brains and necks, likely leaving younger players more vulnerable to subconcussive blows that can accumulate.
Still, the medical community isn’t unanimous. Chris Koutures, lead author of an American Academy of Pediatrics report on youth soccer injuries, sees reason in a ban on heading for 10-and-under players but questions the guidelines for the next three years.
U.S. Soccer Provides Additional Information About Upcoming Player Safety Campaign
CHANGES TO RULES ON SUBSTITUTIONS AND HEADING
The statement also provided information on specific initiatives that will be implemented soon, including modifications to substitution rules in relation to concussions, eliminating heading for children 10 and under, and limiting the amount of heading in practice for children between the ages of 11 and 13.
These are recommendations for youth members because some of the youth members joining in the initiative do not have direct authority at the local level to require the adaption of the rules. Although these are only recommendations, they are based on the advice of the U.S. Soccer medical committee, and therefore U.S. Soccer strongly urges that they be followed.
The full article here.
A recent study concluded that banning headers in high school soccer may not be the most effective way to limit concussions among players. The study was published online Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, as athlete-to-athlete contact was at fault far more often.
Photo by , photographer for Boston College Athletics
This article is from USA Today. Here are some key highlights:
Coinciding with the women’s World Cup, a group of concussion experts teamed with Chastain and other women soccer players to make a big public push for the Safer Soccer initiative. They cited a study that tracked 59 concussions suffered by junior-high girls in Washington State and concluded that about 30 percent of those injuries could be eliminated if heading were banned. That extrapolates to a potential of around 100,000 concussions avoided over a three-year period.