'Heading' bans in soccer may not be enough to stop concussions

Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:34am EDT
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By Andrew M. Seaman

(Reuters Health) - Outlawing "heading the ball" during soccer games may reduce the rate of concussions, but eliminating player-on-player contact would help more, suggests a new study.

The findings challenge recent calls to ban "heading," which is when players hit soccer balls with their heads, the study's lead author told Reuters Health.

"Intuitively it sounds great," said Dawn Comstock of Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. "It even has the word 'head' in it."

Comstock and her colleagues report in JAMA Pediatrics that players are more likely to get concussions during heading than other soccer plays, but it's not the cause of the injuries.