As in other contact sports, head injuries mostly result from unintentional hits with the head and hits to the head from different body parts of players (head to head, elbow to head), hitting the head against the ground, football goal frame or even hits received by the ball, when the ball flies and hits the unprepared player with great speed (5,19-21). The other reason for head injuries in soccer includes forces that are below the level required to trigger the symptoms of concussion.
Almost any sport can cause a head injury and therefore a concussion. American football and ice hockey players have the most concussions. However, concussions also occur in European football (soccer), wrestling, basketball, baseball, and softball. Mostly, concussions occur during games.
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The majority of soccer-related injuries, including head injuries and concussions, occur among those under the age of 25. Concussions are more likely to occur in soccer games than in practices and have a higher incidence in female versus male athletes.
CONCUSSIONS AND HEAD INJURIES. U.S. Soccer announced the U.S. Soccer Concussion Initiative, which provides guidelines that were implemented beginning in January 2016. US Club Soccer clarified the following implementation guidelines as it relates to concussion initiatives and heading for youth players:
Soccer is a sport not traditionally identified as high-risk for concussions, yet several studies have shown that concussion rates in soccer are comparable to, and often exceed those of, other contact sports. As many as 22% of all soccer injuries are concussions.
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Other frequent causes of concussions in soccer players are head collisions with other players or goalposts or falls where their heads hit the ground, according to Dr. Kirkendall. Compared to other contact sports, head injuries are common in soccer.
The concussion rates in soccer are as high as typical contact sports like football and hockey. This is mainly due to players hitting heads when attempting to head the ball. Also, heading the ball itself, especially repetitively in practice or games, can produce subconcussive hits leading to cumulative brain damage over time.
Head injuries in soccer happen frequently. Recent studies concluded that soccer head injuries are on the rise. In high school, girls' and boys' soccer are the second and third most dangerous sports for concussions, preceded only by football. Things get worse in college- according to NCAA studies, the rate of head injuries in women's soccer is even greater than football's.