Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    Quote Originally Posted by xw View Post
    There seems to be far more mentally and physically sound old former pro soccer players proportionally than former NFL players and pro boxers. I'd say the risk of even a competitive career of heading balls would be a magnitude smaller or so, probably even smaller than that of amateur boxers.
    As a header of thousands of soccer balls over the years (no comments from the Peanut Gallery), the difference is enormous. In soccer you 'direct' the ball with the top of the forehead. In football, boxing, hockey, etc., the concussive force is much less directional and braced for, hence a much more concussive force is applied to the brain (causing it to strike the inside of the skull). I've never even had a headache after a game, much less 'getting my bell rung', which is where all the damage occurs. I've coached 4yos through 18yos (and Navy teams) and the only incidences of problems came when two heads collided.
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    I have been accidentally struck by a soccer ball while witnessing thousands of header and it smarts. I cannot imagine deliberately sticking my head into a descending soccer ball. But, the kids tell me only hurts for an instant and I don't recall anyone being KOed by a header.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atticus View Post
    My guess is that soccer won't go anywhere (although heading the ball may go away for youth players), but I sure see tackle football disappearing all the way through high school, then eventually NCAA also. Instead of flag football, it will be replaced by some electronic gadgetry that indicates a 'tackle'. Real tackling will be a DQing offense, as targeting is now.
    Good points, but how will electronic gadgetry tell the difference between JJ Watts sticking an arm out to tackle someone, as opposed to a 180 pound cornerback doing the same? One would be a tackle, while the other would be a minor inconvenience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobguild76 View Post
    Good points, but how will electronic gadgetry tell the difference between JJ Watts sticking an arm out to tackle someone, as opposed to a 180 pound cornerback doing the same? One would be a tackle, while the other would be a minor inconvenience.
    While I haven't worked out all the kinks yet (pat. pend. - I wish), a tackle would be registered when both hands make contact in some as-yet-undescribed way on a ball-carrier. All I know is that everyone wears electronic gloves that transmit contact info and then a computer algorithm instantly decides if it's a tackle or not and a loud noise sounds. Actually knocking people down ist verboten, as it is currently in 2-hand touch and flag. No helmets, no pads.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf View Post
    I have been accidentally struck by a soccer ball while witnessing thousands of header and it smarts. I cannot imagine deliberately sticking my head into a descending soccer ball. But, the kids tell me only hurts for an instant and I don't recall anyone being KOed by a header.
    Heading the ball won't KO anybody, but two players trying to head the ball at the same time can clash heads and just about KO each other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 18.99s View Post
    Heading the ball won't KO anybody, but two players trying to head the ball at the same time can clash heads and just about KO each other.
    I have witnessed more than one split forehead. I don't know about the concussive effect, but those mfs bleed like crazy. As long as gray matter doesn't start oozing out, we're good!
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    Head clashes can range from a temporary nasty pain to a very bad concussion; but the point is that they don't happen that often in games to be a factor. The real frequent thing is the header, but it can be argued that the impact is below the threshold of what could be capable of incurring damage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xw View Post
    The real frequent thing is the header, but it can be argued that the impact is below the threshold of what could be capable of incurring damage.
    That is my position (and generally accepted consensus). Unless the brain impacts the skull, which it only very rarely does in headers, the ensuing neuro-problems are negligible, even in repetition.
    I have, however, seen hard shots been directly headed back by a defender, and that could be a problem.
    Then there is the occasional unintended header, which can, and often is concussive.
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    Alzheimers and soccer, Ray Wilson, Nobby Stiles, Danny Blanchflower readily come to mind. Fortunately the ball isn't as hard as it was 50 year's ago.
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    A recent study made some disturbing findings about ex-NFL players:

    Overall, one in eight players (12 percent) had reported signs of serious cognitive problems, compared with around two percent of people in the general population.
    Those players surveyed with the longest careers -- 10 seasons or more -- were twice as likely to have reported cognitive problems when compared to players who played a single season in the league by a margin of 12.6 percent to 5.8 percent.
    The position of individual players was also a factor. . .
    https://www.france24.com/en/20190830...ealth-problems


    A more detailed article based on the same report:

    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-...d-greater.html
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