As Arsenal up their preparations for the new campaign they will have to do so by heading the ball less.
While reviews from MPs of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport continue all professional clubs have been ordered to restrict players to no more than 10 high force headers a week.
A high force header qualifies as any arial pass from more than 35 metres and any ball intended to be attacked.
Amateur teams have been told that only one session a week should be dedicated to practising heading a ball.
Primary school children are banned from heading a ball at all.
Set pieces are a huge part of the sport, something in the last decade the likes of Bolton and Stoke used as their main source of goals.
Preventing how much time can be spent working on corners and free kicks and obviously children growing up avoiding the skill altogether, could change what the future of the game looks like.
That’s of course not as important as a person’s life.
Campaigners feel that these sanctions are long overdue.
These are individuals who lost loved ones or who have or are witnessing friends and relatives suffer with Dementia.
For years Dawn Astley pleaded with football to do more to protect players.
That was after a coroner’s report linked her father’s death to years of heading a ball at West Brom. Trauma on his brain was compared to that of those who got injured due to boxing.
Chris Sutton watched his dad die of Dementia caused by heading a football.
Out of England’s 1966 World Cup squad 5 would be diagnosed with dementia, others suffered other forms of memory loss.
1872 was the year FA implemented standard equipment, but it wasn’t till 1982 anything changed.
So the World Cup winners were using the same leather ball that the sport began with – a rubber inflatable bladder encased in brown leather
This led to experts like Dr Willie Stewart researching medical records of 7,676 pros between 1900 – 1976.
Results showed that an ex-footballer is 3.5 times more likely to develop dementia then the general public.
For those who suffered it’s a little too late for football to act now but if one person can be saved from a tragedy then it’s worth it.
It’s a myth that a football was lighter in previous eras.
The standard weight has always been 14-16 oz or 410-460g.
The difference now is footballs are designed to not absorb water.
1982 was the last time natural leather was used while from 2004 thanks to Adidas footballs became thermally bonded.
Yet enough scientists and doctors clearly feel there is only a certain amount of time a head should be smashing against 460 g/16oz, depending on age.
With any CTE disease, effects of repeated head trauma are not apparent till many years later.
Hence why it’s hard to exactly say if footballs are not as heavy now that they designed for all weathers, they will strongly reduce those numbers.
You assume they would, but by how many?
One person’s death because of heading a ball is too many.
If the game has to adapt, then it’s a small price to pay
Football is a beautiful game but it’s just that …. a game
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