Recently the Los Angeles Times came out with a great article regarding soccer concussions, one that highlights the need for wearing Gamebreaker soccer helmets that help protect athletes while not affecting heading or other aspects of the game!
Most of the concussions sustained by high school soccer players aren’t the result of heading the ball, new research shows. Instead, most head injuries come from athlete-to-athlete contact, the kind of rough play that is against the rules.
The study, published this week by the journal JAMA Pediatrics, also found that girls seem to be at higher risk of getting concussions than boys.
The findings challenge the conventional wisdom that heading the ball is the most dangerous part of soccer. Though heading was the most common single activity that led to a concussion, the majority of concussions — 69% for boys and 51% for girls — came from crashing into another player while defending, goaltending, chasing a loose ball, receiving a pass or dribbling down the field, the researchers reported.
Only about one-third of boys’ concussions and one-quarter of girls’ concussions happened while heading the ball.
“If you ban heading, yes, you will prevent some concussions in soccer, perhaps as much as 30%,” said Dawn Comstock, an epidemiologist at Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “But if you simply enforce the existing rules of the game, reduce the aggressive play and limit the amount of athlete-athlete contact, you would actually prevent many more concussions.”
The rest of the concussions came from slamming into a playing apparatus, like a goal post (29% of those for girls and 17% of those for boys), or from banging the head on the ground (19% for girls and 13% for boys).
Female athletes were more likely to get concussions than males, researchers found. Girls averaged 4.5 concussions per 10,000 games or practices, while boys averaged only 2.78 concussions per 10,000 games or practices.
“Consistently in gender comparable sports like soccer and basketball, where girls and boys play by the same rules using the same equipment, we see higher rates of concussion in girls,” Comstock said. “Nobody honestly knows why.”
But the researchers have some theories. It could be that girls have less neck strength than boys, so their brains get more jostled by an impact to the head, Comstock said.
Another possibility is that girls don’t actually get more concussions than boys do, she said. Rather, girls may be more likely to notice the symptoms of concussions and report them to their coaches. Additionally, adults who spend time around student athletes may be more attentive to the health of female players than of males.
Be sure and protect yourself with Gamebreaker’s Soccer Helmets today and check out our soccer page for more information! Gamebreaker’s uniquely designed padded & soft padded soccer headgear is FIFA COMPLIANT via RULE 4.