Concussions drive movement to curb headers in youth soccer - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Concussions drive movement to curb headers in youth soccer

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By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer

At the Women's World Cup this summer, there will be a lot of young spectators hoping to someday emulate players like American Abby Wambach, who is known for heading the ball with uncanny accuracy.

But there is a nearly year-old educational campaign that recommends that those kids not be taught headers until they're high school age, after their brains and necks have had a chance to develop. The Safer Soccer Initiative is a joint effort between the Sports Legacy Institute, a concussion research and advocacy nonprofit, and the Santa Clara Institute of Sports Law and Ethics.

A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 2012 showed that while football had the greatest incidence of concussions among high school athletes, girls' soccer was second.

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