Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
GG Riva

Scotland to Ban Heading in U-12 Football

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Vinnie said:

I have no scientific credentials, and Ive conducted no studies.  


Oh. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Vinnie said:

''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.'' 

Vinnie, the bit you've highlighted is not part of the report - it's the BBC journalist's take on it. Think about it. The actual report states that ''players could be three and a half times more likely to die of dementia.'' That is far more significant, in my humble one.

''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, that's not evidence, and I've 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.'' 

Do you think these findings should have been kept under wraps and kids continued as guinea pigs until more conclusive studies had been carried out? Again, some parallels with smoking there, the tobacco companies were well aware of the dangers but they had a multi £billion industry to run.....

''Lets be clear, I don't dismiss the findings completely, but I do have questions about how they reached these conclusions...''

Well that's a relief...... 

''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?''

The scientists and doctors involved in conducting this research have no axe to grind or dodgy product to sell, Vinnie. They will have been very thorough because that's what scientific training instills in you. The sample studied will have been at least several thousands to give it validity and reliability. The control groups will of necessity have been of similar numbers. Doctors and scientists are not given to making sensational claims. If they're suggesting there might be a connection, trust me, there IS a connection. 

''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.''

There is some value in all of the above paragraph, but there are some factors you haven't taken into consideration. What about players who head a ball coming out of the sky after a kick out by the goalie or a hoofed clearance by a defender? Acceleration due to gravity means the ball strikes the head with a force far in excess of it's weight. Similarly when a player throws his head in front of a powerful shot or worse, when it hits him before he can react. The fact that this may involve a relatively small number of human beings does not mean that these dangers should be ignored. I believe that taking a precautionary stance in children's football is a sensible strategy at this time, based on evidence currently available. As more research is done and further evidence is gathered, decisions can be taken to widen or relax the ban, or keep it only for children's football, but the proviso must always be that any decision made is for the protection of those who play the game.

If a complete heading ban ever comes in to football, the game will change significantly, but we'll still have a game. The logical change to make would be that the ball must be played below head height at all times, as in the correct way to play 5 a side football, making for a faster, more skillful game in which the agricultural types would not be able to mask their shortcomings by blootering the ball up the field. 

If Michel Platini had realised his ultimate ambition to become head of FIFA, we might have seen the change in our lifetime - he once advocated that tackling should be banned from the game to avoid injury to skillful players by rugged defenders.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ban will only apply to U-12s in training initially, but will almost certainly be widened to include actual games in that age group before long. The next logical step would be to then extend the ban to older age groups.

The medics tell us that the human brain is not fully mature until around the age of 25, so a complete heading ban is not out off the question.

Personally, I think adult footballers should be informed of the risks, but be allowed to decide for themselves whether they are prepared to head the ball during a game.

Smoking surely kills far more people than heading a football, but there are no plans to ban the sale of tobacco products, as far as I know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest The Beer Baron

Are you suggesting we tax headers?
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever your thoughts are on this topic, it appears that the campaign against heading the ball is gathering momentum.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51396744

The more groups/associations head down this route, the more likely it is that heading will eventually be outlawed from football completely. It may be several years away at present, but as more research is completed, it may come in even sooner if the findings establish a definite link between heading and early onset dementia.

I want to be clear that I'm not championing a complete heading ban in the game, but I do recognise that the scientific studies conducted so far suggest that there may be a link to early onset dementia.

It makes sense, therefore, to raise awareness of this possibility, so that those who run and play the game can make an informed judgement as to how they should proceed. It also makes perfect sense, to ban or at least limit, heading in children's football, until more research is completed, since juvenile brains are apparently more vulnerable to damage from sudden impact.

Even if conclusive proof is established, adult footballers may decide that the rewards are worth the risks unless FIFA decree a world wide ban at all levels of the game. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do they head the ball allot in U12s football? I thought at youth level we are trying to get them playing it on the deck to develop their technical skills

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/02/2020 at 13:49, Fifes Elite said:

Do they head the ball allot in U12s football? 

Not really.  As I said earlier in the thread, my experience of watching my lad when he was that age is that kids could barely get that the ball off the deck that high - with the exception of goalies kicking from their hands. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to see common sense has prevailed. Remember when a poster on here claimed the long term health of children wasn’t as important as a skill in a game? ****ing hell. That was dark. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 0 Guests (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

×