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GG Riva

Scotland to Ban Heading in U-12 Football

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Scotland is set to follow the USA's example and ban heading for U-12s in training.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51132004

Long overdue in the light of scientific evidence, or another example of Scotland being a nanny state - we know what's best for you?

Some will feel it doesn't go far enough, but is it the beginning of the end of football as we know it?

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I feel its wrong.  I think that you need to teach kids to head the ball correctly from an early age, rather than teaching them to be scared of it.  

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5 hours ago, Vinnie said:

I feel its wrong.  I think that you need to teach kids to head the ball correctly from an early age, rather than teaching them to be scared of it.  


Yes teaching a child to play a game is much more important than their long term health. ****ing hell. It’s a game ffs. It’s not important. We’re talking about children’s lives here you absolute nutter. Get some perspective.

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37 minutes ago, Keyser Soze said:


Yes teaching a child to play a game is much more important than their long term health. ****ing hell. It’s a game ffs. It’s not important. We’re talking about children’s lives here you absolute nutter. Get some perspective.

The studies refer to prolonged exposure to heading footballs.  The amount of kids that have a prolonged career in football beyond their teenage years is minimal.  Those that play football for fun at Sunday League level or whatever are not heading footballs day in day out, and I wouldnt call that prolonged exposure.  So if you want perspective, I think that covers it? 

Potentially, the plus side is that kids are encouraged to play the ball on the ground, so their control skills and passing skills may improve, which in turn may help their football development on the whole.  However, unless heading the ball is outlawed, its a core skill and it should be taught. 

Incidently, Im also going to add that these studies are still relatively new.  Guys like Alan Shearer are now allowing themselves to be tested on a regular basis, so that any early indicators might be picked up sooner - I hope that researchers are also testing non-footballers of a similar age to Shearer in order that true comparisons can be made - the BBC report was unclear on that.  Im not going to say that heading a football does not cause damage, but at the same time, Im not sure the "evidence" completely supports their claims.

The fact is, Dementia is a horrible disease and can affect absolutely anyone of an older age, not just ex-footballers. 

Edited by Vinnie
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49 minutes ago, Vinnie said:

The studies refer to prolonged exposure to heading footballs.  The amount of kids that have a prolonged career in football beyond their teenage years is minimal.  Those that play football for fun at Sunday League level or whatever are not heading footballs day in day out, and I wouldnt call that prolonged exposure.  So if you want perspective, I think that covers it? 

Potentially, the plus side is that kids are encouraged to play the ball on the ground, so their control skills and passing skills may improve, which in turn may help their football development on the whole.  However, unless heading the ball is outlawed, its a core skill and it should be taught. 

Incidently, Im also going to add that these studies are still relatively new.  Guys like Alan Shearer are now allowing themselves to be tested on a regular basis, so that any early indicators might be picked up sooner - I hope that researchers are also testing non-footballers of a similar age to Shearer in order that true comparisons can be made - the BBC report was unclear on that.  Im not going to say that heading a football does not cause damage, but at the same time, Im not sure the "evidence" completely supports their claims.

The fact is, Dementia is a horrible disease and can affect absolutely anyone of an older age, not just ex-footballers. 


****ing hell. All joking aside that is a horrendous stance to take. Genuinely disgraceful. 

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1 minute ago, Keyser Soze said:


****ing hell. All joking aside that is a horrendous stance to take. Genuinely disgraceful. 

Elaborate?  I think Ive been very clear how I have come to my conclusions.  Explain why that view is so wrong?  

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9 minutes ago, Vinnie said:

Elaborate?  I think Ive been very clear how I have come to my conclusions.  Explain why that view is so wrong?  


You’re rubbishing the claims of actual scientific studies with your bag of a fag packet nonsense and you’re putting a skill in a GAME above the long term health of human beings. It’s a ****ing GAME. I’m going to request you’re banned from this forum. I’m honestly horrified. 

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2 minutes ago, Keyser Soze said:


bag of a fag packet 

Its "back of a fag packet".  

 

3 minutes ago, Keyser Soze said:


You’re rubbishing the claims of actual scientific studies 

No Im not.  Get off your high horse and re-read what I said. 

 

1 hour ago, Vinnie said:

I hope that researchers are also testing non-footballers of a similar age to Shearer in order that true comparisons can be made - the BBC report was unclear on that.  Im not going to say that heading a football does not cause damage, but at the same time, Im not sure the "evidence" completely supports their claims.

Im going to request youre banned from this until you go back to school and learn to read.  

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Picking up on a typo. That’s what you’ve resorted to?

I mean this when I say it, if you’re not trolling, you’re an absolute disgrace. 

I think you should approach the actual scientists and tell them that you  know better. Explain to them why their studies are nonsense. Tell them that teaching a skill in a GAME is far more important than the health of human beings. 

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But kids heading a ball is far more important!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Edit: professional footballers coming out in support of the ban on Twitter. 

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Edited by Keyser Soze

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Im not saying I know better.  I didnt say that their research was completely nonsense.  Im saying I dont wholly agree with conclusions.  There is a difference.

I think that for the research to be compelling, the research needs to start with kids at Academies of professional clubs, who should be brain scanned every six months.  I think that this should continue throughout a playing career.  I dont think it should only be that ex players are monitored once they stop playing.  There is enough money in football to provide a duty of care to ex-professionals.  

 

 

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1 minute ago, Vinnie said:

Im not saying I know better.  I didnt say that their research was completely nonsense.  Im saying I dont wholly agree with conclusions.  There is a difference.

 


Based on what? What are your scientific credentials? What studies have you conducted? 

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Well that was a good old ding dong between Vinnie and Keyser. A bit like a boxing match, ironically. I wonder how Vinnie would will explain the high incidence of dementia among former boxers?

Nobody would disagree that if the eventual outcome of this research eventually leads to a world wide ban at all levels, the Beautiful Game would lose some of its appeal, but that would be a small price to pay for the continuing good health of footballers once they've retired from the game and approach middle age.

It's perhaps not the best analogy, but I see many parallels with smoking. 100 years ago, doctors used to advise people with respiratory infections to smoke, reasoning that the cough induced would help rid them of the germs which caused it. When doctors and scientists first began to report a connection between smoking and a variety of diseases such as certain types of cancer, chronic bronchitis and COPD, many smokers went into denial and some still are, despite the stark messages on each and every packet of cigs. It's only been since smoking was banned in public spaces, that the message has finally hit home and the number of smokers in this country has halved from the 38% it was at before the ban. Unfortunately, despite everyone's best efforts, smoking among children has not gone down, so it is likely to be around killing people for some considerable time to come.

Back on topic, I don't see the problem in having children's games where heading is outlawed. We could have a rule like 5-a-side where it's a free kick against any player kicking the ball above head height. Keeping the ball low would eliminate big hoofs up the park and increase skill levels such as close control, dribbling and passing as youngsters would be obliged to find other solutions when they are boxed in during a game.

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I think this is a very positive and responsible stance. The human brain does not fill develop until about 25 years, but the rapid growth period,  up to the teens is where it is more susceptible to damage. From personal experience the potential for short and long term damage is huge playing football, like all contact sports. By taking heading out the game during the formative football years we reduce exposure to repeat trauma and reduce the risk of head collision. From a footballing perspective it might also develop footballers and reduce the tendency to resort to route 1 crap.   

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1 hour ago, GG Riva said:

Well that was a good old ding dong between Vinnie and Keyser. A bit like a boxing match, ironically. I wonder how Vinnie would will explain the high incidence of dementia among former boxers?

Boxing is very different, in my view, as the aim is to punch predominently to the head with as much force as possible.  That would be a completely different discussion, without a doubt. 

 

15 hours ago, Keyser Soze said:


What are your scientific credentials? What studies have you conducted? 

I have no scientific credentials, and Ive conducted no studies.  But I do have an ability to read and draw my own conclusions (which are not always correct), and I do question the validity of "facts" in an age where so much "news" and "information" can be misleading.  

I've re-read the BBC's report, the second paragraph states "It comes amid growing fears that regular heading of a ball increases the risk of footballers developing dementia, and dying from the disease." Growing fears is not hard evidence.  The BBC report continues,  "A single header is unlikely to cause any significant damage, but over an extended period the combined effect might lead to problems."  Now, the word "might" is massively ambiguous, thats not evidence, and Ive already stated that I think that for the research to be compelling, the research needs to start with kids at Academies of professional clubs, who should be brain scanned every six months.  I think that this should continue throughout a playing career.  I dont think it should only be that ex players are monitored once they stop playing. 

Lets be clear, I dont dismiss the findings completely, but I do have questions about how they reached these conclusions... 

How many folk were studied, and for how long?  How many were men?  How many women?  What age were the subjects of the study?  What age group are these folk?  What was their background?  Do they drink, or smoke? 

In terms of football, sports science has improved dramatically over the past 25 years or so.  The balls no longer retain water as they used to, they are no longer as heavy in wetter conditions.  There is quicker treatment of head knocks, players are offered greater protection by lawmakers, the style of playing football has evolved.  How many of these folk that were studied were professional footballers?  What position did they play in?  What era did they play in?  A centre half will likely have headed a ball more than a right winger, for example, and back in the day, aerial challenges were rougher and more physical than these days.  These days, Opta (and the like) can track stats on all aspects of player performance, and such data should be used to track risk factors.

As I said, I dont dismiss the conclusions of the study completely, but these studies have come about relatively recently, I believe they need to run for a longer term, and use of ambiguous words in their conclusions does not suggest clear evidence.

1 hour ago, GG Riva said:

Nobody would disagree that if the eventual outcome of this research eventually leads to a world wide ban at all levels, the Beautiful Game would lose some of its appeal, but that would be a small price to pay for the continuing good health of footballers once they've retired from the game and approach middle age.

Absolutely agree GG, but the research should start with kids, and track their health, rather than starting with ex-pros after they retire. 

 

 

Edit: Id also like to add that from my observations watching my lad play football from Mini-Kickers through to under 15s, Mini Kickers concentrates on basic pass, control, and shoot skills, where the ball is on the ground, while few kids are able to generate enough height in their passes or crosses until they are around 9 or 10, so heading the ball isnt likely to be a big issue. 

Edited by Vinnie

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