Heading in Soccer: How Dangerous Is It

Heading in Soccer: How Dangerous Is It?

Soccer players are not only known for their skill, but they’re also known for their passion. There’s no doubt that these two traits make them special. However, there is another trait that makes them even more special than others; namely, the fact that they play a sport where head injuries have been linked to death.

The most common type of concussion in football is called a “concussion.” A concussion occurs when the brain gets hit hard enough to cause it to get knocked out of place. If the brain doesn’t come back into place within a few minutes, then it’s considered a concussion. Concussions can happen at any time during play, but they tend to occur most often after collisions with other players or objects like goalposts and walls.

A second type of concussion is called a “mild” or “moderate” one. These concussions don’t result in loss of consciousness, but they do usually require rest and some counseling from a doctor. Mild concussions aren’t as bad as severe ones, so it’s possible to return to playing without too much trouble. But if you’ve had a concussion that hasn’t healed properly, then you may need medical attention.

A third type of concussion is called a “severe” concussion, also known as a “traumatic” or “abusive” concussion. These are the most dangerous kinds of concussions because they involve direct contact to the brain. Severe concussions may cause bleeding inside the skull. They most commonly occur when players get hit in the head with an object like a baseball bat, a fist, or a helmet. Severe concussions can lead to brain damage and death.

Too many concussions can lead to long-term health problems like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. But repeated mild concussions are also dangerous, so you should avoid them as much as possible by wearing proper safety equipment. Severe concussions are almost always life-threatening, so you should seek immediate emergency medical attention when this occurs.

The brain is a very important organ. It controls all the things we do, like breathing and thinking. A concussion can cause damage to the brain that may be permanent. Before playing any contact sport, it’s vital to wear proper safety equipment like helmets and pads. Also, it’s important not to return to play too soon after sustaining an injury or suffering from a concussion.

Remember, when your brain suffers an injury, it needs time to heal!

This is a question that has been asked by many, from parents to coaches to players.

Just how safe is the beautiful game?

The short answer – not very. You may have heard of court cases against FIFA for allowing children under the age of 18 to play the beautiful game, which could put them at serious risk of developing brain damage later in life.

In fact, it is true that heading the ball develops what is called “brain entropy” in the brains of players, which is a scientific way of saying “Your brain gets all scrambled”. The symptoms of brain entropy include loss of memory, confusion and reduced motor functions. These effects occur over a long period of time and do not show up immediately. They become noticeable when players retire from the game and find it very difficult to adjust to a normal life, as they tend to forget simple things like eating, bathing and continuing to live.

This is why you often hear about footballers going bankrupt soon after retirement, despite having earned massive salaries during their playing career. Success on the football field often translates to failure in real life.

Is heading the ball the only dangerous aspect of the sport?

No. There is also the risk of physical injury through tackles by other players. While protective equipment like shin pads and gloves can prevent some of these, they are not foolproof. Concussions are common, as are broken bones and torn ligaments.

So is football worth the risk?

Many would argue that it isn’t.

The beautiful game has a lot to offer in terms of excitement and entertainment, but when the physical risks involved are so high, is it really worth it?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, it is a personal choice that every player needs to make for themselves. We can only advise you on the potential consequences so you can make an informed decision.

Try our free online football game and find out what the sport is like!

Alternatively, read our guide to the rules of football here.

Sources & references used in this article:

Heading in soccer: dangerous play? by AM Spiotta, AJ Bartsch, EC Benzel – Neurosurgery, 2012 – academic.oup.com

Biomechanics of heading a soccer ball: implications for player safety by CF Babbs – TheScientificWorldJournal, 2001 – hindawi.com

May heading in soccer result in traumatic brain injury? A review of literature by G Bunc, J Ravnik, T Velnar – Medical Archives, 2017 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Heading in soccer increases serum neurofilament light protein and SCAT3 symptom metrics by C Wallace, JD Smirl, H Zetterberg… – BMJ open sport & …, 2018 – bmjopensem.bmj.com

Soccer: Analysis of postural stability in collegiate soccer players before and after an acute bout of heading multiple Soccer balls by BC Mangus, HW Wallmann, M Ledford – Sports biomechanics, 2004 – Taylor & Francis

Heading in soccer: More than a subconcussive event? by H Lingsma, A Maas – 2017 – AAN Enterprises

An evidence-based discussion of heading the ball and concussions in high school soccer by RD Comstock, DW Currie, LA Pierpoint… – JAMA …, 2015 – jamanetwork.com

In Search of the Final Head Ball: The Case for Eliminating Heading from Soccer by NJ Duru – Mo. L. Rev., 2018 – HeinOnline