Myth-busting advice about heading risks to be sent to clubs in England

Myth-busting advice about heading risks and the impact of old leather footballs is set to be sent out to every club in England… with literature calling on teams to stick to the new guidance in training sessions

  • Literature sent out will dispel a misconception over the impact of old footballs 
  • It will also call on clubs to commit to reducing the amount of heading in training 
  • The flyer comes amid concerns that new guidance over heading will be ignored
  • Authorities are trusting every club to stick to 10 high-impact headers per week

Every club in England is set to receive literature which dispels a misconception about the impact of old leather footballs and calls on teams to commit to reduce heading in training.

The flyer, distributed by the Head for Change brain charity as part of their new ‘SAFE’ project, comes amid concerns that new heading guidance could be ignored. 

The game’s authorities are trusting clubs to adhere to restrictions of 10 high-impact headers a week.

Every club in England will receive literature over heading risks and the impact of old footballs

‘Myth: old leather footballs absorbed water and became heavier, so were more dangerous,’ reads the flyer. ‘Fact: today’s balls are waterproof, so stay lighter, but travel faster, so the dangers from heading remain the same.’

Head for Change are offering educational courses for clubs in which they would explain to players and coaches the need to limit heading.

Co-founder Dr Judith Gates said: ‘Education is crucial. The Head for Change SAFE project is an educational programme offered to all clubs.

The flyer comes amid fears the guidance over headers in training could be ignored by teams 

‘By increasing the knowledge of players, coaches, organisations and communities about sports-related brain injuries, it aims to develop thinking and adaptable footballing communities.

‘It asks stakeholders to consider the dangers and minimise the risks. It explodes myths and replaces them with facts.

‘When players and coaches understand the fragility of the brain, together with the long-term reality of living with sports-related dementia, they are more likely to be cautious.

‘When organisations understand their legal “duty of care” responsibilities, they are more likely to ensure that “head safe” policies are implemented.’

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