According to Cognitive fx (2019), "Approximately 5% of soccer players sustain a brain injury every year" (para. 6). As CTE becomes an ever-increasing concern amongst medical professionals, every sport is now under the microscope. While soccer trails men's and women's hockey, American football, and men's rugby on the list of most common occurrences of concussion (CCM, 2018), it still has a high rate of 15% of all soccer-related injuries.
In an effort to raise awareness, the brain charity, "Head for Change", will hold a fundraising soccer match on September 26th, 2021 at the home of Spennymoor Town FC in which special rules, specifically no headers, will take place and test the exploratory measures. The organizers note that in the first half, headers will be allowed inside the penalty box only, in the second half they will be outlawed outright.
The head of the charity, whose ex-soccer pro husband has dementia, feels soccer played with no headers could result in a more skillful game of precision passing and dribbling. She emphasized that she is not campaigning for soccer authorities to ban the move rather than show alternatives to protect players from brain damage.
Purists like myself ask how would corner kicks be effective, and why not use measures like foam helmets that plenty of players already utilize now?
Weigh in with your opinion in the comments section below!
~Michael Patrick Day, Irish Proud & 12oz Sports Writer
CCM (2018). Concussion Rates: What Sport Has The Most Concussions? Complete Concussion Management. Retrieved https://completeconcussions.com/2018/12/05/concussion-rates-what-sport-most-concussions/
Loewen, Dr, J (2019). Soccer Concussions: Myths, Facts, Prevention, and Recovery. Cognitive fx. Retrieved https://www.cognitivefxusa.com/blog/soccer-concussions-myths-facts-prevention-and-recovery