Heading the ball.

Worse

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How long before heading a football is dropped from all competitive matches.
Would have been unthinkable a few decades ago, but now I'm not so sure that the practice can be sustained.
 

TH63

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Interesting debate to be had here.

No doubt you’ve been prompted by recent news of high profile players suffering from the after affects.

Back in the 50’s and 60’s the balls were leather, often wet and must’ve been like heading a bag of cement.

Not sure what the difference is in terms of weight of the modern balls, but yes, I think there should certainly be some detailed study.

My view though, is you’re going to ban heading, then you’d also have to ban boxing.

I can see both sides. On the one hand you have the participants safety to consider, but on the other, how safe do we make sport/our lives, before they become too sterile?
 

Eat Y'self Fitter

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It'd certainly change the game, the towering centre back might become a thing of the past.
 

CCFC_27

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it would I think make long balls far more effective - well all know defenders can't let the ball bounce but it'd be impossible to intercept a lot of passed without using your head. and it'd take a while before it became as instinctive as handball, players would instinctively head the ball off the line etc.
 

Bluebird1972

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There’s been a few high profile cases of this - Jeff Astle being the first one that springs to mind.

Maybe I’m simplifying things here but surely if there was conclusive proof then the dementia type illnesses in former players would be across the board?

By the same token, what about all the people with dementia that didn’t head a football on a regular basis?
 

Bluebird1972

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Interesting debate to be had here.

No doubt you’ve been prompted by recent news of high profile players suffering from the after affects.

Back in the 50’s and 60’s the balls were leather, often wet and must’ve been like heading a bag of cement.

Not sure what the difference is in terms of weight of the modern balls, but yes, I think there should certainly be some detailed study.

My view though, is you’re going to ban heading, then you’d also have to ban boxing.

I can see both sides. On the one hand you have the participants safety to consider, but on the other, how safe do we make sport/our lives, before they become too sterile?
Surely Rugby would have to be banned too.....

:aya:
 

TDA

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A rule that the ball could not be controlled above shoulder height would have to be introduced, much like "hand ball", but "head ball"
 

Lawnmower

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As a tall centre half who could jump I must have headed the thing 20 times a game .
Often with the top of my head as you’d often get nudged and/or mistime it.
At times I’d end up on my knees after midjudging a steepling goalkeepers kick out . Think got a soft head 😂

I can remember many Sunday afternoons just laid out on the settee with a banging headache.

Can’t be good for you and a bit scary to think of , especially as my father died at 61 with pre senile dementure, which was absolutely horrendous, not just for him, but for all the family. To see a big strong , proud, man deteriorate so quickly over just 2 years was something I wouldn’t wish on my biggest enemy .
 

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I cant see it happening and how would teams with little ability and have to be more pragmatic would cope without it?
 

Feedback

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ironic that the biggest head the ball starts a thread on the subject
 

Jimmytaff

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I can see how it was an issue for previous generations but since I've been playing the balls have gotten significantly softer and more cushionned. Makes sense to reduce unnecessary heading for young kids but I'm sceptical that the amount of heading done during a game makes that much difference.
 

Uncle Fester

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Can’t see it happening during our lifetimes.
Maybe kids level but it would certainly change the dynamic of a match...1-0 down in the 95th minute with a free kick and all that
 
Yes Cymru

Arfur Ap Llewellyn Europe

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It would certainly change the game fundamentally, and Wales' Nations League table would look very different today.

I do think the heavy wet balls from football's conception to around the 1960s were the major contributing factor and as said above, today's balls are much lighter and don't let any water in.

It would also completely remove some of my favourite goals, which came from excellently executed headers including the now rare diving header.

On the flip side, teams would have to put more emphasis on keeping the ball down and the more skillful teams would rise to the top. As it should be possibly. I saw a documentary on the Brazilian Ronaldo the other day who originally excelled at Futsal, where I think heading is banned, and it is huge in Brazil, hence them seemingly on a different planet for a couple of decades.

I can see both sides to it, but if the only factor is dementia in footballers, then I think the modern balls massively reduce this risk.
 

Arfur Ap Llewellyn Europe

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As a tall centre half who could jump I must have headed the thing 20 times a game .
Often with the top of my head as you’d often get nudged and/or mistime it.
At times I’d end up on my knees after midjudging a steepling goalkeepers kick out . Think got a soft head 😂

I can remember many Sunday afternoons just laid out on the settee with a banging headache.

Can’t be good for you and a bit scary to think of , especially as my father died at 61 with pre senile dementure, which was absolutely horrendous, not just for him, but for all the family. To see a big strong , proud, man deteriorate so quickly over just 2 years was something I wouldn’t wish on my biggest enemy .
Many a time I'd be kicking off at 10.30am on a Sunday having got in from a night out around 2am and did everything I could to avoid a header, for the first half at least!! I knew even a clean contact would've sent me spinning!
 

Lawnmower

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I can see how it was an issue for previous generations but since I've been playing the balls have gotten significantly softer and more cushionned. Makes sense to reduce unnecessary heading for young kids but I'm sceptical that the amount of heading done during a game makes that much difference.
One of the scientists dealing with the study was asked that and pointed out that the ball has always been the same weight. Old balls did retain water but the new balls are hit harder , so it’s not clear cut
 

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