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National Federation of State High School Associations

Study: Rough play is riskier than heading in soccer

Study: Rough play is riskier than heading in soccer

Heading takes the heat in youth soccer, but limiting rough play might be a better way to prevent concussions and other injuries, a nine-year study of U.S. high school games suggests. More than 1 in 4 concussions studied occurred when players used their heads to hit the ball. But more than half of these heading-related concussions were caused by collisions with another player rather than with the ball. These collisions included head-to-head, elbow-to-head and shoulder-to-head contact, said Dawn Comstock, a University of Colorado public health researcher who led the study. There have been recent calls to ban or limit heading in youth soccer, particular among players younger than 14,...