December 23, 2005

Taking a Header: Not in the People's Republic of Massachusetts, you aren't. A recent bill attempted to ban heading in soccer. It was ammended to require helmets instead. Some are fer, some are against.

posted by yerfatma to soccer at 03:16 PM - 28 comments

This explains Jeff Agoos....

posted by owlhouse at 03:23 PM on December 23

I could see this for kids under, say, 12/13 whose bones are still hardening if they would do some substantive studies on specifically this question.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:31 PM on December 23

This is a joke, right? Because if they're actually serious about this, then, well, boxing should be outlawed. Which, in the land of Marciano, is never going to happen. I'm going to pretend someone's making a funny there. Right? Right?

posted by chicobangs at 03:36 PM on December 23

If it lessens the chances of kids turning into Mark Lawrenson, I am for the ban!

posted by Fat Buddha at 03:53 PM on December 23

Banning heading in soccer is by any definition ridiculous. Heading is an intrinsic technique in both attack and defensive modes. At one point in time several years ago there was a statistic that showed the overwhelming percentage of goals scored inside the box were header made and/or assisted. A helmet on a player can actually be classified as a "weapon" under certain conditions. You can do more damage to someone with a helmet than can be done to you without one.

posted by nowandthen at 03:59 PM on December 23

Make them wear helmets, and you'll have kids spearing ech other with them. Why don't we just ban sports so that nothing bad can possibly happen to little johnny.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 04:11 PM on December 23

Isn't it a little early for April fools gags? Oh wait... they're serious?! Jeez, America, doesn't the rest of the footballing world make fun of you enough already? As nowandthen points out, it's gonna hurt a whole lot more if someone headbutts you wearing a crash helmet.

posted by afx237vi at 04:26 PM on December 23

I'm no soccer, sorry, football player, but wouldn't wearing a hard plastic hemlet change the dyanmics of heading the ball?

posted by HATER 187 at 04:29 PM on December 23

Both the first and third links (where is the second one meant to go?) both reference players getting injured from crashing into the goalposts. I mean, has that ever happened? In all the years I've been watching football, I've never seen anyone run into the goalpost. It just doesn't happen.

posted by afx237vi at 04:31 PM on December 23

In high school, I utterly trashed Matt Galli on the left goalpost at Centre Grove Park ... but we were playing American football on a rain-soaked field. Does that count?

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:08 PM on December 23

With strong evidence of long-term neurological damage among a portion of veteran soccer players, ... Well of course they have a neurologic deficit, it is soccer and they think it's football. What's next basketball? Golf? Tennis? The injuries at most of these kids leagues happens in the stands among the parents, make them ware helmets.

posted by kosmicdebris at 05:38 PM on December 23

Say hello to Soccer Helmet: [source page] If you think kids wearing this are going to end up playing like this, you're as retarded as your kid will look wearing this abomination. I'd pull my kid off the team if there was a law like that (and ship him to Brazil where he can pick up some real skillz). Holy crap. The humiliation alone would scare the kids off the sport for good. I think it's a conspiracy to kill soccer, funded by the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. OK, maybe not NHL, they've don't have that kind of money.

posted by worldcup2002 at 07:24 PM on December 23

Look! It's a diaper you wear on your head!

posted by rocketman at 09:32 PM on December 23

I'd wear that to an art opening or my own wedding (or a first date with Tara Reid), but to a soccer game? No way.

posted by chicobangs at 09:40 PM on December 23

the head gear that i've seen is a bit sleeker.

posted by goddam at 10:22 PM on December 23

haha, that "soccer helmet" is something i wouldnt be surprised if the "AYSO" endorsed. its funny enough to see the coaches compliment, motivate, or whatever it is they try to do on the field just so the kiddies wont feel bad when they kick the ball a few hundred feet off target. the first thing that needs to be done is change "soccer" to football ... simply because thats what it is ... especially in this country that prides itself in being politically correct (whatever that means). how do ya go about calling pro-handball (nfl) football when all they use their feet is for running? hell, why not call baseball, basketball, and even hockey football or footpuck? baserunning = baseball, placing ball inside basket/net = basketball, etc., etc. anywho, yeah sounds like a conspiracy to me. perhaps dying sports feeling threatened ...? i wouldnt know

posted by LA man at 11:19 PM on December 23

Rather than wear helmets, it may be better to ban heading from say, under 12s and below. Then get them to play on a smaller field, eliminating the long ball, and the need for heading in the first place. At that age, full team games are mostly won by the team with the biggest players and the longest kicks anyway. Then reduce each team so that with fewer players n each side they get more of the ball and can learn some ball skills. Hey, that sounds like futsal, which is often credited with making Brazilians the most technically proficient players in the world. I'll support that.

posted by owlhouse at 02:51 AM on December 24

strong evidence of long-term neurological damage among a portion of veteran soccer players Tony Adams was that thick even before he started heading footballs for a living.

posted by JJ at 05:27 AM on December 24


posted by squealy at 06:05 AM on December 24

"There are many things that we can point to as proof that the human being is not smart. The helmet, is my personal favourite. The fact that we had to invent the helmet. Now why did we invent the helmet ? Well, because we were participating in many activities that were cracking our heads. We looked at the situation, we chose not to avoid these activities, but to just make little plastic hats, so that we can continue our head-cracking life styles. The only thing dumber than the helmet is the helmet law, the point of which is to protect a brain that is functioning so poorly, it's not even trying to stop the cracking of the head that it's in."

posted by JJ at 06:30 AM on December 24

On second thought, the kids could use the helmets to put the 2,000 orange peels in that their parents give them at halftime.

posted by nowandthen at 09:13 AM on December 24

Touche, JJ, touche. (sorry, no accents)

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:22 AM on December 24

JJ, so are you saying smart people don't ride motorcycles, don't skateboard and don't build tall structures? Seriously, you could make a similar argument against any protective gear: "The fact that we had to invent oven mittens. Now why did we invent oven mittens? Well, because we were cooking things in pots and pans that got too hot. We looked at the situation, we chose not to avoid these activities, but to just make little fabric gloves, so that we can continue our hand-burning life styles."

posted by billsaysthis at 04:07 PM on December 24

I certainly am saying nothing of the sort. Jerry Seinfeld on the other hand...

posted by JJ at 06:14 PM on December 24

What the hell. I wasn't brain damaged, and I learned how to play hockey before they had helmets. I used to block shots 90+ mph on the ice with no helmet, you just have to know how it's done. Now these friggin' imbeciles want to make their little kiddies wear helmets to play (soccer) football so they don't get hurt. Like air and rubber is going to hurt your brain. Get a life. Keep the lawyers home and get some reality. Get real, you namby-pamby fruitcake idiots and get something real to worry about. Next we will have to have kids wear helmets to figure skate because the arena has the hockey boards up while they practice.

posted by mrhockey at 02:29 AM on December 25


posted by StarFucker at 10:34 AM on December 27

Be!0g o-ER 6 f^^t and pl^y!ng 500tie o-ER 25 yE^rs, ! Kn0 9L^y!nG W!tH0)T He^dG3aR h^s d0N3 n0 D^m^ge.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 06:42 PM on December 27

This is the worst idea i have ever heard. Banning heading in soccer is like banning grandslams in baseball or alley-oops in basketball.

posted by bronxbomber at 10:16 PM on December 28

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