Is it a matter of time before heading is banned?

golden_blunder

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More and more research showing links to dementia from heading footballs.

calls from PFA to reduce heading training

will heading eventually be ruled illegal or will football introduce some kind of padded headgear for players?
 

meamth

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More and more research showing links to dementia from heading footballs.

calls from PFA to reduce heading training

will heading eventually be ruled illegal or will football introduce some kind of padded headgear for players?
I think banning header is going to be revolutionary as players can't head the ball to clear corners/free kicks. I'd want to see that, as it will be living up to the name of the sport, football.

If players are suffering, then I'm 100% supporting banning the headers.

EDIT:
Change the corner kick, to short corners only.
Heading the ball is an offense.

But I'm not against protective gear either.
 

DoomSlayer

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Make a rule that the ball should not go higher than the torso of players. Also, ban overhead kicks and dangerous volleys or shots that can harm players.

Even better, they can put them in safety balloons and players will never get injured again. Best solution, in my opinion.
 

Ibi Dreams

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Not sure how I feel about this. I think there must be some acceptance that playing sports of almost any kind is potentially dangerous. Ways to mitigate those dangers should absolutely be looked into, but on the surface you'd have to say football doesn't seem especially dangerous when compared to things like boxing, rugby, American football, hockey etc. It would just feel very weird to me if football made a hugely significant change in its rules to protect players while at the same time in other sports people were still beating the crap out of each other
 

Chipper

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First instinct is that it would be shit so I hope not. I don't know for certain that it would be bad to watch but it would be such a major difference that it would like watching a completely different sport so who knows if it wasn't actually done? Don't really like the sound of it though.

Not sure which way it would go either - teams playing slowly along the ground all the time which would be boring or teams hoofing it in the air all the time knowing a defender isn't allowed to head it so they can take advantage of the chaos of a ball bouncing around. Giving it a few seconds of thought I think hoofball would be the best tactic. Smash it into orbit and get players around it waiting for the bounce or ricochet off a miscontrol.

Edit: Fellaini's chest control might make him the world's most valuable player.

Afterthought number 2: Defenders would of course have to sit very deep at all times knowing they couldn't cut out a ball over the top with their head.
 
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Classical Mechanic

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Make a rule that the ball should not go higher than the torso of players. Also, ban overhead kicks and dangerous volleys or shots that can harm players.

Even better, they can put them in safety balloons and players will never get injured again. Best solution, in my opinion.
I'm all for safety balloons. Think of the methane a player might inhale if another player farts when they're in close contact. It's a concern. I'm drafting a letter to my MP as we speak.
 

UnrelatedPsuedo

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Ban heading for children. Kids will still do it but ban it in organised football to a certain age.

It’s not that big a deal.
 

arnie_ni

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Don't think they'll ban it in games anytime soon but should definitely look at it in training.
 

tenpoless

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Make them all wear helmets. All football players need to wear a helmet. Woodward will turn it into a goldmine. Put dozens of stickers on the helmets from Durex to PS5. Loadsamoney.
 

Needham

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I did a lot of heading when I was young, think the dementia risk is overstated.
 

Needham

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I did a lot of heading when I was young, think the dementia risk is overstated.
 

sullydnl

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Not sure if it will be banned but it will certainly move in that direction.

The vast majority of heading a player does in their career will happen in training, so it makes sense to see restrictions there. Also makes sense to have restrictions for kids' teams. I'd be surprised if we don't see those measures taken.

Beyond that I wonder if Cech-style head protection is viable for outfield players or would even make much of a difference?
 

The holy trinity 68

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Cigarettes have proved to be a big factor in cancer, people know the dangers and still do it. People have a choice to smoke or not.

Heading has been a part of the game for over 100 years, if people want to play and become footballers, let them be aware of the dangers but give them the choice.
 
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There need to be a proper investigation to show the impact of heading.

We are seeing the effect of heading some 50 years years now - but those balls were vastly different to what we have today. I wouldn’t want to head one of those balls from the 60s. Is that enough of a change, I don’t know.
 

golden_blunder

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I’d want to ask if there is any evidence of a link when using modern footballs as opposed to the ones from the 60s and 70s which must have been akin to heading bricks
 

Raees

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I’d want to ask if there is any evidence of a link when using modern footballs as opposed to the ones from the 60s and 70s which must have been akin to heading bricks
Even the modern footballs are hard as feck when pumped to a match day standard. Anyone that has played football on a weekend can testify to this.
 

Oranges038

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Fair enough restrict heading or whatever in training, but to suggest removing it from he game altogether is ludicrous.

This is a career choice, like any other it comes with it's own potential consequences. The players should be educated to be knowledgeable enough about the long term effects of the game the from a young age.

The balls now move faster but are about 3 times lighter than they used to be. So the impact is roughly the same from what I've read. But there is less heading in the game now than there used to be, so you cannot really compare this current generation of players to previous until they have come to an age where the data shows that there is more or less effect than what there used to be.

How many former players can't walk properly because of injuries? Roy Keane has had hip operations. Batistuta once wanted a doctor to cut off his legs because of the pain in his ankles. Dean Ashton has had to use a walking stick because his ankles are fused due to injuries. Do they also want to restrict running and tackling?

In a few years I can see that football will be so heavily sanitized, regulated and reformed it will be about as enjoyable to watch as Formula One. Top level football is already getting boring enough to watch as it is.

Accept that this is a contact sport and if want to play at the highest level you should be aware of and be ready to accept the consequenses of it.
 
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sullydnl

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Ultimately there needs to be more research, as the PFA has called for.

In the meantime there's no harm in introducing certain measures. Restricting heading in training across the board isn't going to impact the games we see too much. And as for children, the guidance is already that under-12s shouldn't be heading the ball. It wouldn't be particularly disruptive to change that to an outright ban or to expand measures into teen years.

It would also be good if there were greater financial supports for old pros in difficulty. It's not a long-term issue as later generations finished their careers in a much more financially secure position but that definitely wasn't the case for a lot of the ex-players currently suffering from these symptoms.
 

DomesticTadpole

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There need to be a proper investigation to show the impact of heading.

We are seeing the effect of heading some 50 years years now - but those balls were vastly different to what we have today. I wouldn’t want to head one of those balls from the 60s. Is that enough of a change, I don’t know.
Was listening to somebody on the radio he said the ball being lighter means in is coming at somebodies head a lot faster so the impact is not lesser than in past days.
 

marktan

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Just from personal experience when I played football when I was younger casually I did actively try to avoid heading the ball, as hitting anything on your head repeatedly can't be good for you, evolutionary wise we're not cut out to use our heads as physical tools. The job of the skull is to protect the brain not as a fighting tool, if you're repeatedly bashing balls into at force it must do some form of damage, though I don't know enough about how the underlying physiology to actually back that up
 

Hoboman

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Proper researches with large enough sample size should be done, before even considering those changes.

For now, they need to leave the game alone and concentrate on ludicruous schedule full of meaningless club and national team tournaments.
 

The Red Thinker

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I am in full support of children being stopped from heading as they are still growing and the hardness of their skulls are only improving beneath the ages of 8-10.

But I am a skeptic of "Dementia caused by heading". The main reason being that the evidence that has so far been cited are on "Former Professionals". Players who've played in the 60s-90s mainly. They may indeed find some correlation here as footballs used to be so much harder even as late as the early 2000s.

But the key question is - Do modern footballs also impact the human skull as they used? Footballs these days are far lighter and far more absorbent of impact than the old leather balls. There will indeed be a disproportionate number of footballers from the 60s having injured brains compared to those from the modern era because of the quality of the balls. Not only that, rules dictated by referees were different then too. A bang to the head, an elbow here and there was seen as "Nothing... just walk it off"

It is far more likely that the lack of concussion protocols or the acceptance of head injury through physical impact on a football pitch for so long was the likelier reason for diminishing brain function.
 

R.N7

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I'd say the link between heading and dementia are minimal at best, of course proper research is needed to be sure, but the real reason I think that so many of them are getting dementia, is the increased life expectancy. The number of people getting dementia, in all kinds of professions, are gonna soar in the next decades.
 

Lynty

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Banning heading in training is sufficient.

When I've played in teams, I could do drills that would mean heading a ball 100+ times in week.

In a match day scenario, it bet I hardly reached 100 headers over the course of a season.

That would be something like a 95% reduction rate. Ban them in training. If a player wants to improve their heading, they do it in their own time using their own facilities, fully knowing the risk.
 

golden_blunder

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Just from personal experience when I played football when I was younger casually I did actively try to avoid heading the ball, as hitting anything on your head repeatedly can't be good for you, evolutionary wise we're not cut out to use our heads as physical tools. The job of the skull is to protect the brain not as a fighting tool, if you're repeatedly bashing balls into at force it must do some form of damage, though I don't know enough about how the underlying physiology to actually back that up
Ahhh it just dawned on me that Lindelöf is actually a smart guy, protecting his long term brain health. *taps head*
 

Red00012

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Eh would they not look at sports where the object is to knock a person out first ?
 

Vidyoyo

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No, it should be cut down in children and training but not eliminated. Dementia is very common, largely due to living longer thanks and advances in medical science.

One in 14 people over the age of 65 have dementia, and the condition affects 1 in 6 people over 80.

I won't deny that there's a lot of footballers who develop dementia but these stats suggest there's much more to it than heading a football.
 

Red For Ever

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Not so many years ago, the balls were a lot heavier especially when wet, and in my school days, we still had some balls with laces.
A lace imprint on your forehead would last for hours.
Some players, especially defenders, would practice heading the ball as far as they could on a regular basis.

I think it was in the early 1980s that balls were coated to stop water making them heavier., the old-style footballs also lost some shape during a match.

I wonder if the more modern balls cause less of a problem, and it may be that footballs can still be improved to help this issue.

Footballs in the 1960s had not changed much for many years and were pretty similar to those made in the 1880s it's incredible the level of skill that people like Mathews, Charlton, and others displayed with these old-style footballs

Heading the old style when wet and much heavier was an experience that left you feeling dizzy for short while.

I'm sure modern football helps a lot more, but it's definitely worth investigating the impact of heading in football today.
 

Lay

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Yes because I want to see how corners are done. And how lower league teams start to play.

Pulis won’t have a clue
 

Green_Red

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How accurate is the science? There are a lot of people that play football globally, I find it hard to believe that dementia can be linked directly to football. Something wrong with the model they've used, must contain bias. Remember most people that develop dementia are old. How long have they been running the study? What is the sample and population data?
 

Chipper

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Yes because I want to see how corners are done. And how lower league teams start to play.

Pulis won’t have a clue
Interesting. I think his tactics slightly modified would be effective as defenders can't head it away. They'd have to try and chest it or bring it down with their thigh under intense pressure.
 
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Ban everything that can do harm, mountain climbing, sky diving, scuba, driving, speedway, motor racing. It’s 2020 after all and Demolition Man time is soon here, we’ve only 12 years left to get there, no-one is allowed to get hurt or die after 2020. Come on governments, save us all from the horrors of the World.
 

meamth

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In all seriousness though, if it doesn't reach 50% of players will eventually get Dementia, then it should be banned.

But if it's one out of 10 person, then it shouldn't be banned.