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Frank Hovis

The Dangers Of Heading A Ball

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I used to think heading a ball was a bad idea and always used to bottle it, eventually I got shifted to left back from centre half as the coach realised that whatever he shouted at me I wasn't going to head it. Looks like I was right.

I'm also a bit wary of the argument that the ball's lighter today so it's ok, it's still one hell of a thump and I would still be bottling it. I wonder how this is going to pan out, the medical profession are dead set against boxing for the damage it does to the brain and heading the ball looks like it has the same effect. I don't see how you could take heading out of football so we have a problem here.

Dr Michael Lipton is currently carrying out a study with adult amateur footballers in the US investigating how heading impacts on the brain.

His initial findings suggested heading a ball more than a 1,000 times a year could cause traumatic brain injury.

"Those people were also more likely to perform worse in cognitive tests especially memory and, less so, processing speed and attention," he said.

"There is clear data that traumatic brain injury increases the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia maybe as much as three fold."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26817099

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I used to think heading a ball was a bad idea and always used to bottle it, eventually I got shifted to left back from centre half as the coach realised that whatever he shouted at me I wasn't going to head it. Looks like I was right.

I'm also a bit wary of the argument that the ball's lighter today so it's ok, it's still one hell of a thump and I would still be bottling it. I wonder how this is going to pan out, the medical profession are dead set against boxing for the damage it does to the brain and heading the ball looks like it has the same effect. I don't see how you could take heading out of football so we have a problem here.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26817099

Amazing how much heavier a ball feels on the head during a match on a cold day and possibly covered in mud. You are also a buffer stop having to change the balls direction. Cannon ball comes to mind.

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I used to think heading a ball was a bad idea and always used to bottle it, eventually I got shifted to left back from centre half as the coach realised that whatever he shouted at me I wasn't going to head it. Looks like I was right.

I'm also a bit wary of the argument that the ball's lighter today so it's ok, it's still one hell of a thump and I would still be bottling it. I wonder how this is going to pan out, the medical profession are dead set against boxing for the damage it does to the brain and heading the ball looks like it has the same effect. I don't see how you could take heading out of football so we have a problem here.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26817099

Amateurs heading 3x per day ?

Anyone who has ever headed a ball knows it is more about how you head it and whether it is done properly or not. Get it wrong and it hurts like hell. My guess is that this is the problem. The more you do it the greater chance you will do it wrong at some point and that will do the damage.

There is also the defensive type header, which tends to be a ball falling from a great height, contrasted with the attacking header, which is often a glacing blow to direct the ball rather than transform its direction completely.

I remember the good old days, playing with coats and a big stonking soaking wet casey, These days balls are much lighter with polymer coatings that prevent them taking on water.

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I used to think heading a ball was a bad idea and always used to bottle it, eventually I got shifted to left back from centre half as the coach realised that whatever he shouted at me I wasn't going to head it. Looks like I was right.

I too avoided heading the ball if possible which, as a striker, caused a few problems with coaches/teammates; fortunately I used to put enough away by other means to get away with it. Thierry Henry was notable for not using his head - like me, he used to take the corners rather than try to get on the receiving end of them.

I believe that Jeff Astle's untimely death was partly due to him being such a powerful header of the ball.

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I used to think heading a ball was a bad idea and always used to bottle it, eventually I got shifted to left back from centre half as the coach realised that whatever he shouted at me I wasn't going to head it. Looks like I was right.

I'm also a bit wary of the argument that the ball's lighter today so it's ok, it's still one hell of a thump and I would still be bottling it. I wonder how this is going to pan out, the medical profession are dead set against boxing for the damage it does to the brain and heading the ball looks like it has the same effect. I don't see how you could take heading out of football so we have a problem here.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26817099

My 10-year-old lad is a right wuss when it comes to heading the ball, though I can't say I particularly blame him. Mind you, I seem to remember reading somewhere that more damage was caused during accidental clashing of heads while going for the header than the headers themselves.

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I too avoided heading the ball if possible which, as a striker, caused a few problems with coaches/teammates; fortunately I used to put enough away by other means to get away with it. Thierry Henry was notable for not using his head - like me, he used to take the corners rather than try to get on the receiving end of them.

I believe that Jeff Astle's untimely death was partly due to him being such a powerful header of the ball.

The best goal I ever scored was a looping diving header over the goalkeeper into the top corner off a long cross. But for the life of me now I still don't know why I didn't just take it on the volley because I took it very close to the ground, although it equally wrong footed and confused the defender who was tightly marking me and the goalkeeper who advance off his line.

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I used to think heading a ball was a bad idea and always used to bottle it, eventually I got shifted to left back from centre half as the coach realised that whatever he shouted at me I wasn't going to head it. Looks like I was right.

I'm also a bit wary of the argument that the ball's lighter today so it's ok, it's still one hell of a thump and I would still be bottling it. I wonder how this is going to pan out, the medical profession are dead set against boxing for the damage it does to the brain and heading the ball looks like it has the same effect. I don't see how you could take heading out of football so we have a problem here.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26817099

I'd have expected footballers and people who play football to perform worse than average in cognitive tests anyway.

:P

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The answer is to replace all footballs competitive matches or not with those windwafter ones you can get at beach stalls for about 50p.

Would make matches far more interesting when someone launches a shot at the opposition goal and somehow concedes a corner in their own half!

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I used to think heading a ball was a bad idea and always used to bottle it, eventually I got shifted to left back from centre half as the coach realised that whatever he shouted at me I wasn't going to head it. Looks like I was right.

I'm also a bit wary of the argument that the ball's lighter today so it's ok, it's still one hell of a thump and I would still be bottling it. I wonder how this is going to pan out, the medical profession are dead set against boxing for the damage it does to the brain and heading the ball looks like it has the same effect. I don't see how you could take heading out of football so we have a problem here.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26817099

Absolutely no problem. Most footballers' brains are south of their waists: in their boots.

Well...what did you think I meant?;)

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Absolutely no problem. Most footballers' brains are south of their waists: in their boots.

Well...what did you think I meant?;)

Well I for one thought you meant their boots :P

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Absolutely no problem. Most footballers' brains are south of their waists: in their boots.

Well...what did you think I meant?;)

Well their boots aren't connected to their bodies, so I guess you could've meant their balls!

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I used to think heading a ball was a bad idea and always used to bottle it, eventually I got shifted to left back from centre half as the coach realised that whatever he shouted at me I wasn't going to head it. Looks like I was right.

I'm also a bit wary of the argument that the ball's lighter today so it's ok, it's still one hell of a thump and I would still be bottling it. I wonder how this is going to pan out, the medical profession are dead set against boxing for the damage it does to the brain and heading the ball looks like it has the same effect. I don't see how you could take heading out of football so we have a problem here.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26817099

Heading a ball 1000 times a year, what are they doing playing hoofball?

Agree with the previous that if you head it wrong it hurts like hell.

Should players wear helmets?

Or should professional players be given a limited number of headers per game and then get to wear a bright pink hat once they've hit the threshold for that game? It would certainly make the game a little more interesting cross it in because he can't head it.

Has the risk got less as the balls have got lighter?

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I was only asked to head a ball once aged around nine. The teacher kicked it into the air, the rest of us watched impressed at how high he kicked it, and then it landed on my nose.

Cue one very apologetic teacher having to drive me home and explain to my mum why I was still bleeding profusely from a suspected broken nose. Obviously, this was pre-obsession with health & safety or litigation - and it was assumed to be just an accident. But I think teach was grateful not to get a bawling out by my mum.

Despite having no ability to coordinate or sporting ability - said PE teacher was always pretty decent to me after that - even giving me a pass from PE and having to go outside in bad weather.

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I was only asked to head a ball once aged around nine. The teacher kicked it into the air, the rest of us watched impressed at how high he kicked it, and then it landed on my nose.

Cue one very apologetic teacher having to drive me home and explain to my mum why I was still bleeding profusely from a suspected broken nose. Obviously, this was pre-obsession with health & safety or litigation - and it was assumed to be just an accident. But I think teach was grateful not to get a bawling out by my mum.

Despite having no ability to coordinate or sporting ability - said PE teacher was always pretty decent to me after that - even giving me a pass from PE and having to go outside in bad weather.

I suggest you phone a lawyer and sue him or his estate. Abuse doesn't need to be sexual.

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The best goal I ever scored was a looping diving header over the goalkeeper into the top corner off a long cross. But for the life of me now I still don't know why I didn't just take it on the volley because I took it very close to the ground, although it equally wrong footed and confused the defender who was tightly marking me and the goalkeeper who advance off his line.

Well, I didn't think we were going to get into this, but my best ever goal, the ball was crossed from the far right in the air, i bought it down with my chest, directing it past the first man, jumped over his outstretched boot. Ran a couple of paces, flicked it to the right of another incoming defender with the outside of the right boot. The goalie ran out to me to narrow the angle, I pulled back the right foot for a hard drive, the goalie carried on forward and I kicked but into the floor to chip the ball over the goalies head and into the back of the net.

George Best eat your heart out. Oh yeah, and nothing to do with headers.

If anyone needs a diagram let me know.

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Well their boots aren't connected to their bodies, so I guess you could've meant their balls!

Precisely. They only use their brains when their boots are on. At all other times it's their balls. :)

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Well, I didn't think we were going to get into this, but my best ever goal, the ball was crossed from the far right in the air, i bought it down with my chest, directing it past the first man, jumped over his outstretched boot. Ran a couple of paces, flicked it to the right of another incoming defender with the outside of the right boot. The goalie ran out to me to narrow the angle, I pulled back the right foot for a hard drive, the goalie carried on forward and I kicked but into the floor to chip the ball over the goalies head and into the back of the net.

George Best eat your heart out. Oh yeah, and nothing to do with headers.

If anyone needs a diagram let me know.

I couldn't help but rise out of my seat - shouting and punching the air - when I got to the end of this post...

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