Any time you play a contact sport like football or soccer, you expose yourself to injury.
Concussions occur in these sports when a player takes a hit to the head from another player, the ground, and the ball itself.
Recently, the NFL has been under the microscope for its views on player safety and educating their coaches, players, and fans on concussion risks. Concussion awareness has grown rapidly in recent years and the ripple effect has reached several other sports.
This past fall, the US Soccer Federation (USSF) banned youth players from heading the soccer ball until they were at least 11 years old. Even at this age, USSF will be limiting the amount of heading in practices. While these new rules are simply recommendations at this point, they are a requirement for all US Soccer Youth National Teams and the Development Academy.
Some people are opposed to these statements. They feel as though US Soccer will never be a global contender if we do not teach our youth a fundamental aspect of the game. Conversely, others are applauding the USSF for taking the action that other sports refuse to take.
Whether you are for or against the ban, it goes without saying that it will lead to some interesting developments in the future of youth soccer.
To learn more about concussions and for a downloadable concussion fact sheet from MKSC sponsor Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin, click here.