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Heading incidence in children and youth soccer.


Summary of the UEFA’s sponsored study on incidence of heading in soccer (football) among children and youth.

Who

480 female, male or mixed teams from clubs under-10, under-12 and under-16; 60 teams per country accross highest leagues (17%), average leagues (36%) and lowest leagues (47%) (Denmark, England, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain and the Netherlands).

Design

Cross-sectional observational study.
Recording of matches between March and July 2018, and July and November 2018 + one training session.

Outcome measures

  • Header type: intentinal, unintentinal (getting hit), duels
  • Match situation, position of the player, flight distance of the ball, point of contact on player’s head
  • Head injuries
  • Training and match exposure

Main results

Under-10

Under-12

Under-16 females

Under-16 males

Total

Head injuries

Take home message

For a clinician

In general, the incidence rate for head injuries was the lowest for Under-16 females, followed by Under-10, Under-12 and Under-16 males. The incidence of head injuries was low (3 injuries in matches).

For a parent

In general, the incidence rate for head injuries was the lowest for Under-16 females, followed by Under-10, Under-12 and Under-16 males. The incidence of head injuries was low (3 injuries in matches).

For an athlete

In general, the incidence rate for head injuries was the lowest for Under-16 females, followed by Under-10, Under-12 and Under-16 males. The incidence of head injuries was low (3 injuries in matches).

Original article

Beaudouin F, Gioftsidou A, Larsen MN, Lemmink K, Drust B, Modena R, Espinola JR, Meiu M, Vouillamoz M, Meyer T. The UEFA Heading Study: Heading incidence in children’s and youth’football (soccer) in eight European countries. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 2020 Apr 26.



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