Heading The Football - To Head Or Not To Head

Discussion in 'General Football & Other Sport' started by Davidmsawyer, Jan 16, 2020.


Will headers become a thing of the past?

  1. Never, you can’t have football without headers, what would happen to Andy Carrol?

    5 vote(s)
  2. No, but all players will need to model a Steve Simms forehead protector

    0 vote(s)
  3. It should do for under 12s, but not any further

    13 vote(s)
  4. Yes, at some point in the future heading will be removed from football due to the health risks

    2 vote(s)
  1. Davidmsawyer

    Davidmsawyer Statto Statto Statto

    I’ve seen articles about heading the ball being dangerous slowly become more prevalent over the last thirty years. The basis being that of course heading balls repeatedly is bad for you, and can lead to dementia. In particular, children are said to be at risk. It does seem logical.

    And so it is the the Scottish FA are banning heading the ball in under 12 games, following the lead of the US.

    So should we ban heading for under 12s in England? Will we reach a point where there is no heading in the adult game, surely that is stretch too far?

    I don’t really see the point in heading for under 12s myself. You’d be much better off getting youngsters to try to play with both feet than head.

    My old games teacher, Mr Atkinson, would be gutted as this would ruin one his favourite training sessions to help make England great at football, He used to make us practice defensive headers. So one of us would kick 20 meters, and the other would have to then just head it. He never seemed to grasp that as 12 years olds our pass success to hit someone’s head from 20 meters was about 10% at best.

    What do the rest of you think? Will heading become a thing of the past like terraces, back passes and no offside rule?

  2. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

    If a kid regularly heads a big heavy ball it'll do damage, there is no doubt about that. However, modern lightweight footballs are very easy to head without feeling much if done with a good technique.

    Where the problem in kids football lies is that some teams are using over-inflated rock hard Sondico balls that are simply dangerous. Passing a law about the standard of the football required will do much more good than simply banning it IMO.
  3. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Reservist

    I agree with Diamond.

    Headers are a vital part of the game, and have been for years. I do feel it can produce problems and this has of course been proven. Maybe a change in how the ball is manufactured, or changing the technique of how a player approaches the situation.
    Davidmsawyer likes this.
  4. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    If by law you mean laws of the game, there’s already one:


    An academic on the radio this morning basically said the idea modern balls are lighter is a myth. FIFA have mandated the size, weight and pressure of the ball for decades. What’s changed is the materials balls are made out of now mean they’re impervious to water and so don’t get heavier in crap conditions.
    SkylaRose likes this.
  5. foxywfc

    foxywfc Reservist

    Technique is the big one. Kids under 12 use size 4 balls which is helpful. Tackling is becoming a thing of the past before heading.

    Also when coaching heading technique we limit it as smashing balls into the mixer for an hour might not be the best for a developing body.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Davidmsawyer and SkylaRose like this.
  6. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    Given that he's talking about 'ealth and safety, I'd assume he's talking about the more traditional kind of law.

    Footballing authorities can put whatever they want into the laws of the game, but if Childabuser McHardarse the school games teacher buys a bunch of balls that don't fit that standard it won't help protect the youngsters much.
  7. Chumlax

    Chumlax Reservist

    I think that, depending on just how far the research goes, it's perfectly possible that at some point in the not-too-distant future it might well be removed from the game.

    It is a similar, albeit lesser, scenario to that of the NFL; there is no way that the game is going to be allowed to survive in its current incarnation with the amount of research linking it directly to CTE. That sport is going to have to change extremely fundamentally, with the way they're allowed to hit being totally reshaped/reined in.

    For some further somewhat-related reading, Netflix just premiered their new 3-part documentary series on former Patriots tight-end Aaron Hernandez yesterday, and as of two episodes in, it's extremely fascinating.
  8. Supertommymooney

    Supertommymooney Reservist

    Change is coming.

    Unless the balls get a lot lighter then I think heading will eventually go.
  9. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    It's hard to imagine heading disappearing from football while boxing still exists.
    Mazzereth likes this.
  10. Leighton Buzzer

    Leighton Buzzer Reservist

    Heading should not dissappear, but I can see a time in the future where some kind of slimline protective headwear might be worn. Not going to go down well perhaps, but definitely better than the game would be without heading. Also if saving players from head injuries in collisions could become acceptable in time.
  11. foxywfc

    foxywfc Reservist

    Can see it going head height for kids football, which wouldn’t be to bad. Force them to play.
    As for out of the game I think we’re a long way from that.
    The research that’s been done is phenomenal but a lot of guys that have suffered are from years back when technology wasn’t as good. Those balls soaked up more water than the guys got rid of walking on the pitch with a fork at half time.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. folkestone orn

    folkestone orn Squad Player

    Surely the newer balls are much lighter, which would negate the health risks?
    The Voice of Reason likes this.
  13. Supertommymooney

    Supertommymooney Reservist

    It'll be like smoking, you'll have to get in a huddle outside the stadium if you want to header a few balls.
  14. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

    I think you might have the answer LB (#10). I can see something like that coming about because of the 'Elf & Safety Brigade.

    However as FO said (#12), with modern footballs I would have thought the possible problems caused by heading the ball must be largely negated as they are so much lighter and water proof than they used to be in the past.
    Leighton Buzzer likes this.
  15. Davidmsawyer

    Davidmsawyer Statto Statto Statto

    I guess it depends on if the damage is also caused by repeatedly banging your head, even if the balls are not as bad now. As others have said, I expect the answer will actually be determined by future studies, which will be quite long term.
  16. cyaninternetdog

    cyaninternetdog Forum Hippie

    After listening to the Peter Crouch podcast thing I feel there may be something in this.
    DaveWFC likes this.
  17. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Any concussive impact the brain suffers results in leakage and damage to the superficial blood vessels in and on the surface of the brain. It promotes inflammation and the response to inflammation can result in abnormal repair via protein changes which result in various neurodegenerative diseases. I think it is very positive to see the medical care applied to juniors being looked at who are particularly vulnerable. There are rule changes ongoing in junior rugby and ice hockey to minimize impacts to the head. And rightly so. There have been some tragic deaths involving impacts to the brain in these sports when played by kids let alone the start of chronic changes within the brain.
    Davidmsawyer likes this.
  18. Filbert

    Filbert Leicester supporting bloke

    To play devil’s advocate (I don’t have a strong opinion either way) can it not just be considered part of the inherent risk of partaking in a sport? Like getting mangled in a scrum or breaking your neck falling off a horse.
  19. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    I would say those examples are of things going wrong. You don't aim to fall off a horse or collapse a scrumb so badly that someone's neck is broken (unless your name is Roy Keane). Those are a failure of technique/skill and horrible accidents, respectively.

    Heading the ball is what you're actually trying to do; succeeding at it causes the damage. Somewhat ironically, failing and missing the header does not!

    I think there's definitely risk associated with sport and that needs to be accepted, but if the injury comes from doing something right you have to take a step back and assess (particularly when kids are involved).
  20. Filbert

    Filbert Leicester supporting bloke

    Good argument. On the other hand, you can’t beat a good header flying into the back of the net.
  21. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    Yes, t'would indeed be a shame.
  22. luke_golden

    luke_golden Space Cadet

    Agreed, but it might also increase the likelihood of flying volleys into the net, which are a good thing.

    It takes me back to the early days of PlayStation, and a game called Olympic Soccer, so beautifully basic that one of the 4 buttons in attack was dedicated to overhead kicks, which could be attempted with the same regularity as the simple header.

    Based on the evidence of this game alone, I can confidently predict that replacing headers with bicycle kicks would improve our game.
  23. Filbert

    Filbert Leicester supporting bloke


    I see your bicycle kicks and raise you a header looped back across goal for a teammate to run onto and head in from close range. Preferably this takes place between a pair centre backs up for a corner.

    Football perfection.
  24. luke_golden

    luke_golden Space Cadet

    There’s not really a word to describe the sound I made while reading this post, but it certainly represented both understanding and satisfaction.
    Filbert likes this.
  25. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    Are you a Burnley fan?
  26. Filbert

    Filbert Leicester supporting bloke

    I wish.
  27. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    cyaninternetdog likes this.
  28. cyaninternetdog

    cyaninternetdog Forum Hippie

    Make them all wear Petr Czech headgear, allow sponsorship on them too to make it even more ridiculous.
  29. Hornpete

    Hornpete Squad Player

    Probably not far from the likely outcome, and the only ones not wearing Cech helmets will ironically be keepers, and deulofeu.

    I was going to say make the balls lighter, but they already have since the days of geoff astle.

Share This Page