Dangerous shock to the brain: Headball under criticism

Dangerous shock to the brain: Headball under criticism

If you often play ball with your head in soccer, it can damage your brain for a long time – several studies have now indicated this. Accordingly, title training for children under the age of ten has long been permitted in the USA. A year ago, football associations in England, Scotland and Ireland decided to ban headlines in training with children under 12 following this. In addition, titles should be trained infrequently from U12, and minimized as much as possible for U18s. Captions are still allowed in the game. The reason for introducing these rules is a 2019 investigation commissioned by the English Federation (FA) and the Players’ Union PFA.


Professional footballers are 3.5 times more likely to die from brain disease than the UK population. As a result, many doctors welcome the FA’s new regulation, because if the ball reaches a speed of 100 kilometers per hour, a headball can impact up to 400 kilograms on the forehead.

In addition, the recommended health limit of 900 titles per year is often exceeded in youth football. According to Inga Cort, who has been studying the impact of headlines on the brains of young football players since 2012, it has no consequences. “Our and other studies show that headball can adversely affect brain development and performance – and may be linked to long-term brain damage,” says a professor of neuroscience at the University of Munich. .

Dr. Ingo Helmich from the Department of Neurology at Sport University Cologne. “It is increasingly certain that headball games adversely affect cognitive health.” The DFB is also registered, but unlike the UK it does not rely on bans. “I think the scientific basis is currently very trivial considering a few headlines in children’s football,” explains national team doctor Tim Meyer.

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Instead, the DFB recommends that you start training on your topics only after the age of 13. “Also, new games in children’s football explain the situation,” he says. These mainly include small team sizes and small playgrounds. Also, teasing and kicks will be distributed so everything will be for dribbling and flat passes, not at the edges and headers, ”the mayor said. In an interview with PAZ, she explains how Payner’s young coaches handle the issue.

Kyriakos aslanidis (Base Coordinator at DFB): “In my coaching years, I have never coached titles with kids under 12 or 13 years old. Occasionally in the hall, but I always noticed the correct weight, i.e. took the lighter balls – and kept the length and number of repetitions to a minimum. Unfortunately, with small children, the right balls are often not picked up, but are too heavy – this problem sometimes occurs even in the game. To avoid the risk to health, headball training should be banned in Germany for the younger generation. Because only 50 to 60 percent of people implement a recommendation. Others do not follow it, because, on the one hand, they do not convince themselves of it or the means do not allow it. Ultimately, a lot depends on the coach. If he has trained himself headlines many times in his history, he is more likely to do the same as his team because he says to himself that it has not hurt him. There are coaches who suggest that you should practice headlines at an early age, otherwise players will face difficulties later on. Coordinating aspects and jumping power can be practiced differently – you add title when the players are fully grown. ”

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Marco Goyer (Young leader in Armenia Vrum): “Headlines in training, including e-juniors, play no role – we have written it into our idea. These years, our teams don’t go out playing, but the passing game is at the forefront. We do not prohibit headlines, but we do not explicitly train them. Despite the light balls we know this is not good for kids. D We only want to quickly introduce the boys to the headlines from the youth. Because we all know the potential consequences of headlines. When you find out what the long-term damage is in American football, hitting the head – whether from boxing or ten hard balls – is not helpful. I will intervene if I see a coach with us doing title training for F-Juniors. However, I think the ban on headlines is very strict. It is important to keep trainers up to date with the latest training theory. After all, everything is sensible training – then you do not need to talk about a ban, because such a subject will take care of itself. “

Christian Menzel (Trainer of the TSV Marathon Payne, who previously worked full-time for eight years in the Youth Division of Eintrach Bronzeweig): When talking about developmental processes, it is important to package the title training appropriately for all ages. The question is when are the physical and mental prerequisites for children to learn technical aspects – that is the situation in the old e-youth class. So the basic shape of the headball is best practiced with light balls. Even small children cannot learn such a thing, especially since header is the most sought after technique in football. I can still practice it on F-Youth, for example with balloons. However, I doubt that banning headlines makes sense. It is important to make trainers aware. Anyway, my question is whether F, E and D young people need special technical training. Not in my opinion. But if they are to do so, the training must be age-appropriate and designed to be non-damaging. “

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