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Youth Soccer Program Bans Heading The Ball — Should All Programs Follow Suit?

Soccer Bans Heading

My six-year-old daughter has become completely obsessed with soccer. She gives her practices and games her all and recently, I have started to worry. She throws her whole being into the game and has yet figured out all the nuances of self-preservation on the field.

Recently there have been several stories about the dangers of the game including, as the New York Times mentions, “frontal lobe damage and weaker verbal and visual recall among players” who hit the ball with their heads. This is evidently worrisome to parents (like me) and soccer coaches alike, especially when younger soccer heads are at stake.

Soccer program Soccer Shots Connecticut, who teaches children ages 3 to 8 the game, has opted to ban “heading” in their training and practices. “We’re just not doing heading,” director Shannon Perry said. “We think with kids younger than 10 years old, there is no reason to put them at risk.” But there is not that much that will actually change. As Fox8.com stated, “young children are not often able to get the ball into the air, thus why the heading ban does not affect game play as often on the younger levels.” Rather, “most of soccer is played with the feet,” Perry said.

Do you worry about your kid playing soccer? Would you like to see this rule adopted by all youth soccer programs?

Photo Source: istockphoto
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