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Football and dementia/CTE

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BraStrap
December 1, 2020, 11:25am
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Gregor Robertson writes about heading potentially being outlawed this week

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/art.....no-headers-njbdv09m7

there is an undoubted link between heading during players careers and subsequent CTE. But could football adapt to no heading or massively reduced heading? Cricket brought in helmets, not suggesting that's done in football, but it does show that sport can adapt.

Or are players just willing to take the risk for something that could ruin their lives downstream?
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BobbyCummingsTackle
December 1, 2020, 11:43am
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outlawing heading would make it interesting - what do defending teams do when the ball's pumped into the middle of the penalty box? Defenders have to let it go over their heads and chaos ensues. I think there'd be more goals.


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pen penfras
December 1, 2020, 11:55am

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I suppose they're going to stop punching in the head during boxing matches too.
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TheRonRaffertyFanClub
December 1, 2020, 12:11pm
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I read this on Sunday and thought it was one of Gregor’s weaker pieces. Clearly there is an issue but not so clear is how far heading causes it or whether it makes a bad condition worse. The second point is what to do about it. Getting rid of heading is the equivalent of throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Heading is a major part of the game, people who play and have played accept that. Take that away and you have a different game that you might as well play on an all weather pitch with 5-a-side rules.

Yes there is risk in any sporting activity. I saw a bloke get a dart through his hand in the pub one night. People fall off mountains, get lost orienteering, crash on bikes, drown in wild water swimming, even die playing cricket despite all the gear .....

Whatever Football decides to do, unlike with VAR I hope it is properly thought through with regard to the consequences for the game itself and not some knee jerk reaction.


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grimsby pete
December 1, 2020, 1:24pm

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I cannot see football being played without heading the ball.

If footballers don't want to head a ball let them find another sport.

It never did me any harm la de  dah de de  

Seriously players know the risks most sports have some dangers  it's up to the organisers to try and make it as safe as possible.The balls are a lot lighter than they were years ago.


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Lincoln Mariner 56
December 1, 2020, 1:40pm
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Football, despite its name, would not be the same sport without heading. Whether or not the lighter ball they now play with will help reduce cases of dementia is something worthy of study and a reduction during training of heading balls may also make a small contribution to reducing numbers.

As someone who spent his amateur career playing either centre forward or centre half and a childhood that involved playing football most days of the year it does cross your mind whether it will have an effect given how many balls you’ve headed, elbows you’ve endured and head clashes suffered, especially as a couple of locally renowned amateur players noted for their heading ability now have this disease.

All activities have their risks and football can give fantastic rewards to the few but I suspect most of us wouldn’t change our lives and not play because the enjoyment of playing, and to a lesser extent watching, is too great.
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wuffing
December 1, 2020, 2:07pm

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Once played centre-half in the Sunday league and the pressure from heading the ball after the keeper had kicked it out of his hands was immense. I would like to see this part of the game outlawed and the ball has to bounce once first before players allowed to engage in play. Free kicks and corners are totally different as they don't have the same angle as when the ball is coming out of the clouds.

What we reckon?










'Tis better to have shot and maybe not scored... than to not shooting at all'.(Reconfiguration of Alfy Lord Tennison).
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Rick12
December 1, 2020, 2:26pm

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Quoted from grimsby pete

.The balls are a lot lighter than they were years ago.
Very true Pete especially when the balls got wet .


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TheRonRaffertyFanClub
December 1, 2020, 2:42pm
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Quoted from wuffing
Once played centre-half in the Sunday league and the pressure from heading the ball after the keeper had kicked it out of his hands was immense. I would like to see this part of the game outlawed and the ball has to bounce once first before players allowed to engage in play. Free kicks and corners are totally different as they don't have the same angle as when the ball is coming out of the clouds.

What we reckon?


One factor we rarely hear about is teaching players to head the ball correctly. I’m not suggesting you didn’t but when I ran junior sides I was always amazed how poor the teaching must have been and some of the kids had spent hours with coaches who had qualifications growing out of their ears. It had become a forgotten skill, perhaps because the balls were so much lighter.

I was never taught to head a ball by anyone but I did learn from reading about it. In particular there was a coaching book I read as a teenager which I borrowed from the library and I remember reading an article in a football mag by Nat Lofthouse that said the same thing. I passed it on to players I managed. Head the ball with the hardest part of your head, the bit with the most bone - the forehead. Always the forehead even for a back header. And keep your eyes open. So the danger of heading any other way must have been known in the 50s/60s.



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Rick12
December 1, 2020, 2:49pm

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One factor we rarely hear about is teaching players to head the ball correctly. I’m not suggesting you didn’t but when I ran junior sides I was always amazed how poor the teaching must have been and some of the kids had spent hours with coaches who had qualifications growing out of their ears. It had become a forgotten skill, perhaps because the balls were so much lighter.

Yes .I remember in school having PE lessons and playing for the school team. Pe teachers never use to tell us how to head the ball. And yes it did hurt .



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