In several countries, children under the age of 12 were banned from pitching a football to avoid future health problems.

The coronavirus changed our lives. He stopped our fast pace of life and forced us to stay home. In addition, it has led us to value the little things more and reflect on what we have been doing.

In football there has also been time to rethink some things on behalf of COVID-19. Not only at the professional level there will be new features when you roll back on the ball. In base football, decisions have been made that do not prove controversial.

The most striking of all was adopted by managers in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, where children under the age of 12 were banned from pitching a football. The measure, which seeks to prevent brain injuries in future footballers, is based on a study published by the University of Glasgow in October last year.

It is a 22-month project and carried out 7,676 ex-players through the Brain Injury Group. According to the Guardian newspaper, the analysis revealed that footballers are three and a half times more likely to suffer from dementia and other serious neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

Still, the report was unable to establish whether there is a direct link between continuous pitching a ball and injuries.

However, the British Federations opted to “mitigate any potential risk” by establishing measures to prevent any type of injury from formative age. They have teamed up to issue a guide banning children ages 5 to 11 from finishing with their heads in training.

MEDICAL OPINION ON HEAD A FOOTBALL

The decision was made at the end of 2019, but it is an initiative that has been under way for a long time at the global level. UEFA, for example, introduced a strict protocol for concussions and head knocks for a single purpose: above technicians or footballers, doctors have the final say to know whether or not the player can continue on the turf.

We know there are a lot of doubts about it. That’s why Football Science Institute experts answer frequently asked questions.

Is banning children from pitching a ball too extreme?

Banning these blows could prevent the learning of the technique, which is a very important factor. Scientific studies are needed to delimit the effects of head knocking at different ages to decide whether this prohibition is necessary, at what ages, and how to progressively train the blowing technique and the strength of the neck muscles.

In several countries, children under the age of 12 were banned from pitching a football to avoid future health problems. The coronavirus changed our lives. He stopped our fast pace of life and forced us to stay home. In addition, it has led us to value the little things more and

Can the same injuries be caused by repetition in headers as from a blow to the head or a ball?

The brain damage from repeated trauma that has been studied in other sports such as football and boxing, and which consists essentially of a brain degenerative process, is different from acute brain damage caused by trauma, which depends on the energy of the impact and causes different injuries of a more traumatic and less degenerative nature.

What are the differences, in terms of the consequences, when hitting the ball with the head between adults and children?

In theory, children are more vulnerable to having less punching technique and less strength, which decreases their ability to absorb impacts. However, the technique and cushioning strength of the neck muscles in young footballers can be trained and improved. Similarly, a poor head-hitting technique in adults also increases the energy of impacts and their possible consequences.

Should footballers who have played professional football worry about their health?

There are millions of footballers who play football and we probably all know several of them. Obviously, if the consequences of playing football on brain function were obvious and severe, we’d know them. However, further studies need to be done to see exactly what possible problem we face and to protect the health of the young footballer or adult in a comprehensive manner.

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