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FA updated heading guidance

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Jamvic, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    Glasgow University research showed that former footballers are three-and-a-half times more likely to die from brain disease
    Former professional footballers were more likely to die of degenerative brain disease - and five times more likely to die from Parkinson's disease.

    Should goals like the ones in the clip below become a thing of the past?

    New FA guidance means that children aged 11 and under will no longer be taught to head footballs during training in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
    The new football association guidelines for coaches also puts limits on how much heading older children should do. The guidance will currently affect training only.

    Jamie O'Hara said on Twitter: "Heading a football is a skill that is essential to becoming a footballer, how do they propose they learn this if [they're] not allowed to head a ball?"

  2. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    I think if the research is shown to be sound then get rid of heading the ball altogether from the game. My friend thinks this would totally ruin football and to leave things as they are. Her argument is that it’s an individual player choice whether to accept the risks of heading the ball or not.
  3. nomad

    nomad Star commenter


    I think the name FOOTball is what it should be.
  4. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    CTE is a major issue with many athletes and has been found in the brains of non-contact athletes.

    Infact a few people have suggested it as a reason why a WWE professional wrestler called Chris Benoit murdered his own wife and son over a weekend before hanging himself on weight machine.

  5. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Maybe they should just play with lighter balls?
  6. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I thought the better publicized cases of this was from previous years when heavy leather balls would get even heavier by soaking up rain, haven't balls become lighter and less prone to soaking up water since then?. Surely any results are going to reflect the way things were 20-30 years previously?
    strawbs, T34, chelsea2 and 2 others like this.
  7. Tartuffe

    Tartuffe Occasional commenter

    As a FA Level 2 Coach I am wholly in support of this. I work with U11 Girls, U7s and U18s at the moment and have never done heading with the two younger teams. We focus mainly on passing, and movement. We do heading with U18s but as part of other drills and will rarely do a discreet heading drill. Most of the FA training aimed at Foundation players (Primary) is about ball control and movement and not heading. Footballs used are currently a lot lighter than the footballs of my youth (1970s and 80s) but still wouldn;t do a repaeated heading drill for more than a dozen repeats with older age group.
  8. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Get behind me Satan:):):):)
    Kandahar likes this.
  9. Kandahar

    Kandahar Lead commenter

    We could always adopt the US style football helmets in this health and safety world of ours.
  10. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I thought the balls were the same weight as in the days of leather balls, but, as MW points out, they don't soak up water and become heavier during the game.

    I wondered about the kind of head protector which Petr Cech wore following his skull fracture - it looks light and fits the contours of the head, so wouldn't impede heading ability or accuracy (well, not too much - and I'm sure the irregularities could be smoothed over with a skin), whilst providing some protection from impact. However, he was a GK, so never headed the ball. I have no idea how that kind of 'helmet' would prevent the injuries causedby long term heading.
  11. Kandahar

    Kandahar Lead commenter

    Little or none probably.

    As in all things in life - you take the risks with whatever you do.

    In rugby - busting a back or losing your front teeth. In state schools - losing your sanity.
    nomad likes this.
  12. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    A helmet will protect from directed impacts by spreading the force across the skull rather than having it concentrated in one area, something that a large squishy ball does anyway. I think the danger comes from the movement of the brain within the skull which no amount of padding is going to stop.
    Jamvic likes this.
  13. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    So true. No way to avoid it in some schools too :(.
    Kandahar likes this.
  14. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    Maybe it’s more the modern fear of litigation that’s driving the changes.

    The heading of the ball was banned in the US, for children aged 10 and under, after a lawsuit was filed against the US Soccer Federation by a group of concerned parents and players.

    Some within the game believe the US were safeguard pioneers, leading the way after some worrying research around concussions.

    Others have a different view - pointing out that it took the threat of legal action for moves to be made. Either way, the Americans were the first to impose the restrictions that others, including the Scottish FA, are now beginning to adopt.

  15. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Anyone who doesn't think heading footballs causes brain damage, only has to listen to the post-match interviews.
  16. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    I listened to a radio 4 report on this a while back. The argument to limit heading for the youngest players and gradually grow it and teach it properly post-11 as an advance skill to be grown as players bodies get stronger, seemed sensible.
    Jamvic likes this.
  17. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    After the work of medical professionals in the USA the dangers of concussion etc in American football were outlined.
    I have never been an advocate for women’s football for a variety of reasons. One of which includes the heading of the ball. With girls they are either going to go to great lengths to avoid heading the ball (their hair being kept pristine is far more important), fear of the ball or game, or them just deciding they don’t like the game. It’s ok for primary kids when they haven’t started puberty as football as an invasion game can teach a lot of similar games skills and understanding which helps if learning field hockey.
    My major concern with football comes from girls being hit on the breast by the ball -
    particularly if it is a hard kicked ball. Medical advice is clear about blows to the breast being a bad idea. The vast majority of girls are simply not able to move into a position where they “take” the ball on the breastbone. That is the area deemed to be fine by the FA and coaches. My point is that girls are not good enough to either take the ball on the correct part of the body or to be agile enough to avoid being ‘ biffed in the boobs’. It’s time to move them back to field hockey or in the next 20 years I expect there to be a highly undesirable increase in trauma initiated breast cancers.

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