Head injury can be a result of contact of the head with another head (or other body parts), ground, goal post, other unknown objects or even the ball. Such impacts can lead to contusions, fractures, eye injuries, concussions or even, in rare cases, death. Coaches, players, parents and physicians are rightly concerned about the risk of head injury in soccer.
These injuries can happen due to ball-to-head contact. They may also happen during accidental head-to-head contact, when two players head for the same ball. Possible injuries include: Concussions
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As in other contact sports, head injuries mostly result from unintentional hits with the head and hits to the head from different body parts of players (head to head, elbow to head), hitting the head against the ground, football goal frame or even hits received by the ball, when the ball flies and hits the unprepared player with great speed (5,19-21). The other reason for head injuries in soccer includes forces that are below the level required to trigger the symptoms of concussion.
Soccer has more than 265 million players around the world and is the only contact sport with purposeful use of the head for controlling and advancing the ball. Head contact in soccer has the potential to cause acute traumatic brain injury including concussion or, potentially, a pattern of chronic brain injury.
There are no heading restrictions in games. Clubs should be aware of circumstances in which individual consideration is needed. For examples: A 10 year old playing at 12-U or older should not head the ball at all. An 11 or 12 year old playing at 14-U or older should abide by the heading restrictions in practice.
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Further analysis revealed a threshold level of approximately 1,000 to 1,500 heads per year. Once players in the study exceeded that number, researchers observed significant injury. “These two studies present compelling evidence that brain injury and cognitive impairment can result from heading a soccer ball with high frequency.”
Regularly hitting a soccer ball with your head -- even just a few times a day -- has been linked to traumatic brain injuries, researchers report. In a preliminary study, 32 amateur soccer players...
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Up to 22% of soccer injuries are concussions that can result from players using their heads to direct the ball during a game. To reduce risk of injury, a new study recommends preventing how hard a ball hits the head by inflating balls to lower pressures and subbing them out when they get wet.