• Today
    July 08

  • 05:56 AM

Fewer head drills for youth footballers

REUTERS,

Added 19 June 2020

uefa-logo

BERN – Heading drills should be reduced in youth football and neck strengthening exercises introduced to help protect the health of young players, European soccer’s governing body UEFA said on Thursday.

UEFA included the recommendations in its heading guidelines for young footballers approved on Thursday, but they were sharply criticised by British-based brain injury charity Headway which said they lacked detail and did not go far enough.

UEFA said the aim of the guidelines, based on studies it commissioned at the University of Saarland in Germany and the Hampden Sports Clinic in Scotland, was to “limit the header burden in youth football to what is deemed necessary for the promotion of the game”.

There has been increasing concern over the possible long-term affects of heading and the English, Scottish and Northern Irish FAs have barred heading in training sessions for Under-12s.

A study undertaken last year by Glasgow University and supported by the Scottish FA found that former professionals were at more risk of dementia than the general population.

UEFA recommended that coaches “reduce heading drills as far as possible, taking into consideration the heading exposure at matches”.

Balls should be the appropriate size and weight for the respective age groups, and the lowest pressure authorised by the rules, it said, while foam balls might represent an alternative.

UEFA added that recent scientific research has suggested that neck strengthening exercises might help reduce the impact of heading.

The recommendation to reduce heading was described as “entirely sensible” by Luke Griggs, Headway’s deputy chief executive.

“However, the lack of detail in UEFA’s new guidance document makes it hard to see how it will be of any benefit whatsoever to youth coaches,” he said in a statement.

“If football’s governing bodies believe that further evidence is required, they must use their vast resources to commission additional research without yet more unacceptable delay.” (Reuters)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Should the headquarters of a new regional airline remain in Antigua & Barbuda?

Yes
No

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM