Heading

concreek

Member
Does anyone else think that heading a soccer ball in high school soccer is becoming a lost art? I recognize the reported concussion studies. It is what it is as related to soccer. But it is amazing to watch how bad heading has become. Heading back a goal kick or a goalie punt is non-existent. Heading a corner offensively looks awkward with very few headers even put on frame. This result is pretty much expected as today’s players have been trained to be afraid to head the ball but it is still tough to watch.
 

Gr8tS0ccr

Member
I don’t see any issue with not heading a punt or goal kick. Players should be looking to bring it down and control the ball which is more difficult with the head. There are times that defensively you have to go win one, but what really amazes me is how willing teams are to just give the ball back to the other team. This is HS soccer, so talent level both tactically and technically varies wildly, but some of this soccer reminds me of High School soccer from the 80s and 90s.
 

Philly_Cat

Well-known member
Does anyone else think that heading a soccer ball in high school soccer is becoming a lost art? I recognize the reported concussion studies. It is what it is as related to soccer. But it is amazing to watch how bad heading has become. Heading back a goal kick or a goalie punt is non-existent. Heading a corner offensively looks awkward with very few headers even put on frame. This result is pretty much expected as today’s players have been trained to be afraid to head the ball but it is still tough to watch.
I think there is too much heading. Just because a ball is in the air doesn't mean it should be met with a head. Goal kicks, punts and long kicks most times should be instead trapped with the body, whether it be the chest, leg or foot, and gotten to feet as quickly as possible. Headed balls most times should be to get the ball to a specific spot quickly, such as a pass to a teammate or a shot on goal. Instead if you watch just about any JV or mid to low level varsity game and you see the lovely back and forth ping pong as each team head the ball back to the other with no real purpose except that the ball is in the air.

I was annoyed with the no heading rule for 11u and younger that was instated a few years back. I thought it was silly. But after seeing how kids are forced to learn to use the rest of their body to trap the ball and get it to their feet, I'm not going to lie, I love it now. Youth soccer has definitely seen a big improvement just due to that rule, whether that was the original intent or not. So yea, I've got to say I disagree with your assessment of heading in today's high school environment. And why you would say kids are trained to be afraid to head the ball? I'm not sure where you think that is coming from.
 
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Philly_Cat

Well-known member
Also, I honestly know little to nothing about the concussion research for soccer, but I would think the true danger to the head in soccer isn't a ball, but instead the high risk of head on head collisions.
 

bucksman

Moderator
I don't think helmets would solve the problem, could make things worse.

From an observational perspective (coaching and officiating), the danger on head balls isn't the heading the ball itself, it's the collisions that result above the shoulder. The only danger involved with heading the ball is if you do it improperly, and the ball heads you.

Ball winning in the air is something that is lacking at times, I agree with that. Letting the ball bounce on high balls (punts, goal kicks, crosses) poses major risk for defenses. The ball needs to be won - head, feet, doesn't matter.
 

phatneff

Member
In five or so years helmets will be devoped for soccer, eliminating the heading problem.
No way this will happen. Players can't have anything of a hard substance on their heads. That includes knots of a bandana. It's not just the head that needs protecting from those things, it's also other parts of the body. Helmets on every player will do more harm than good.
 
No way this will happen. Players can't have anything of a hard substance on their heads. That includes knots of a bandana. It's not just the head that needs protecting from those things, it's also other parts of the body. Helmets on every player will do more harm than good.
They already exist, essentially it is a rugby scrum helmet. Petr Cech wore one for years. They aren't illegal for field players to wear either.
 
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