Ban the header (cont.)

By Chris Daly

Today’s Times carries in the print edition an incremental piece about the cranial dangers of heading the ball in soccer.

The upshot:

The researchers found, according to data they presented at aRadiological Society of North America meeting last month, that the players who had headed the ball more than about 1,100 times in the previous 12 months showed significant loss of white matter in parts of their brains involved with memory, attention and the processing of visual information, compared with players who had headed the ball fewer times. (White matter is the brain’s communication wiring, the axons and other structures that relay messages between neurons.)

 Next, I’d like to see a study that teases apart the difference between heading a ball that has traveled 60-70 yards versus one that has just popped up from a nearby kick or missed trap.
At the end of a piece is a paragraph that I would nominate for keeping, just so we can look back it years from now and shake our heads (gently, of course):

“No one is suggesting that heading should be outlawed,” she concludes. But science and common sense both indicate that “it’s almost certainly not a good idea to practice heading over and over and over.”

 

 No one is suggesting that heading should be outlawed? Not true. I am.
 [As so often happens, I found this image online and cannot figure out who deserves the photo credit. If you took it, let me know.]

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