Primary school children in Leeds have been banned from heading footballs in training – your views
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The new guidance comes in the wake of a study which suggested a link between football and dementia. The FIELD study showed that former footballers were three and a half times more likely to die of neurodegenerative disease than age-matched members of the general population.
As a result, there will now be no heading at all in the so-called ‘foundation phase’ - primary school children - and a graduated approach to heading in training in under-12s to under-16s football.
However, the ban will only be introduced to football training and won’t apply for match play, as it takes into consideration the extremely limited number of headers which actually occur in youth games.
Some readers thought the plan made sense.
Julie Collier said: "There’s a potential link with dementia and neurodegenerative diseases, like MND...Not exactly snowflake stuff is it? Kids play tag rugby at primary age and introduce scrums etc as they get older. What’s the difference?"
Ben Tomenson added: "Along with the potential link to diseases (like dementia and MND), there is a similar link to psychosis because the impact the ball has with the head causes a ricochet of the brain inside the skull. The thought with banning heading at these ages is their brain isn’t fully developed yet so takes more of a hit than fully developed ones. Also although heading is a big part of the game it will encourage the ball to be played on the floor at all times increasing technical ability with the feet."
Read the original article hereHowever, others disagreed and thought the rule went too far.
John Harvey said: "The ball they play with today weighs nothing compared to the balls we played with in the 50s and 60s."
Gus Macduff said: "Instead of a ball they should use a balloon, and instead of tackling the players should stand around hugging each other."
Lee Westerman added: "They shouldn’t even play with a ball as they are taught it’s not about winning, it’s about taking part."
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