United States Soccer Federation Bans Headers For Kids Younger Than 11
So wouldn't t be a good idea to outfit youth soccer players with bicycle helmets? That way they could hit the ball with their head all day, instead of sustaining concussions at the alarming rate that they do now.
In fact, so concerned is the United States Soccer Federation over the number of kids getting their bells rung on the soccer field, that the organization has just banned headers by kids younger than age 11.
As usual, football gets all the attention -- even when it comes to concussions. But bet you didn't know that in youth sports, soccer is the sport in which the most concussions occur. In fact, in a lawsuit against the USSF, it was reported that that in the year 2010 there were 50,000 reports of concussions -- more than in wrestling, basketball, baseball and softball combined.
And compared to football? In a 2012 study reported by the Head Case Co., soccer has fewer concussions per year when compared to football, but the severity of concussions is significantly higher.
"Recent studies show that soccer has surpassed football," said neurologist Peter A. Puzio from Augusta Health Neurology. "As soccer grows in popularity, so does the incidence of concussion. There's not a perfect a number because it all depends on the severity of each one, but there is a cumulative effect of concussions. One is bad, but it depends on the severity of the concussions."
Ironically many parents are pulling their kids from youth football due to concussion concerns, and enrolling them in soccer -- where the dangers are just as high, if not moreso.
Players and parents brought forth a lawsuit in August 2014, accusing major organizations like U.S. Soccer of “negligence in treating and monitoring head injuries.”
The amended bylaws will be mandatory only for leagues operating under the umbrella organization of U.S. Soccer.
So AYSO, the top youth soccer league in the U.S., isn't bound by the new restriction. In a recent news release, AYSO stated: AYSO does not recommend heading below the age of ten. Coaches are not encouraged to teach or practice heading at these early ages.
Which means it isn't technically illegal, and AYSO is not exactly being proactive.
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