Attention for Women’s Soccer has been building, medical and sports authorities are finding players are at higher risk for more severe concussions than most sports players. This comes at a surprise when compared to more high contact sports like football, and wresting.
New studies have shown that for every 100,000 soccer players, 33 will get a concussion per year. This is fewer than in football, where every game that’s played – someone walks away with a concussion. However, scientists are finding that concussions sustained from player soccer are more severe. This is alarming as soccer among girls is becoming increasingly popular, especially after the 2012 London Olympics gold and the continued coverage in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro games.
People might be wondering how soccer players are at more risk for severe concussions compared to football and wrestling. The answer seems simple when you think about it, it’s all about where the action is. In football there’s high contact with other players, and in wrestling there’s a lot a deceleration/acceleration concussions. However, in soccer there’s a lot of balls bouncing on heads and heads accidentally colliding. When players are required to bounce balls off their heads that are soaring at most 60 mph, you might see where the concern is.
Ways to Reduce Severity of Concussions
The best practices to reduce severity of concussions, is to be situationally aware. Soccer players need to practice always being aware of their surroundings. Where are the other player’s elbows, where is the nearest player to me, where is the ball landing? And perhaps one of the most important practices is to protect the head. Bouncing the ball off the player’s head should either be phased out as a practice, or we should start equipping our players with helmets. A lot of research has been done on the importance of helmets in reduces concussions in the realm of football, researchers should use this as a jumping off point for soccer players and their unique challenges.
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