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Heading to be phased out in 10 years


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7 hours ago, lukebcfc1989 said:

Exactly the moment we start apologising and compensating is the beginning of the downward spiral, 

this conversation being in the public eye will no doubt bring the£££ signs in eyes of families 

Good point. One of the main things families with a dementia sufferer are thinking is ‘how can I monetise this?’  

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11 hours ago, Major Isewater said:

If Boxing is permitted then heading a football must be as well.

Either ban both or accept that in life there are risks attached to everything we do. 

A few years ago, I went to a days training in Dublin with the Olympic boxing team.  One of the sessions was by the sports science guy who was giving a talk on sports safety.

There had been a big study to see which sports were safest, in regards to expected injuries etc.  At the end (Olympic/amateur)  boxing was actually one of the safer sports.  Rugby and horse jumping were way worse.  And I remember being surprised how unsafe football (soccer over here) was.

The reason is that it was difficult to compare sports.  Take Boxing v football as an example.  3x3or 2min rounds v 90 mins.  Straight away you have a difference.  So what they did was to look at the training for the sports as well and then included injuries in training and in competition.  That way they could determine number of minutes trained/played versus injuries recorded.

When you looked at it overall horse jumping and rugby were the most dangerous without a doubt.  I forget the next couple of sports ... then boxing and I think football was behind it.  Could be wrong it was a few years ago.

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11 hours ago, Superjack said:

I think that ball design technology will be more likely to provide the solution.

Of course, health of players is the paramount consideration, but it just wouldn't be the same game without heading. 

Footballs get lighter and safer with every passing decade. I personally hope that this will provide an answer.

I haven't caught up with the whole thread but I heard someone talk about this yesterday and they were saying although the balls are lighter, they are kicked with more force now so the extra speed and power behind a shot/cross/kick almost counteracts the advancement in ball technology. Not seen any actual study or evidence of this just going by the words of a spokesman for one of the charities

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9 hours ago, Edgy Red said:

Everything comes with risk James. My Dad developed dementia in his early 60's and never played any competitive sport in his life.

As a previous poster said, what do we do about rugby or boxing or any other impact sport. Do we just cancel all impact activities?

Do we ban alcohol that increases the risk of cancer?

Its a very emotive subject and i have seen directly how it effects a family, but we have to evaluate risk and people have to make their own choices in life.

Rugby already has a big case being brought in by England World Cup winner  Steve Thompson who has developed the early on set dementia!

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43 minutes ago, IdliketoRogerMoore said:

Rugby already has a big case being brought in by England World Cup winner  Steve Thompson who has developed the early on set dementia!

Indeed. And despite winning the World Cup - the pinnacle -  and making a good living out of the game before and after, Steve Thompson says he regrets ever taking up the game. 
He is 42 and has dementia. 
 

People on this thread who have casually said they would be ok with getting dementia if it meant the game they loved persisted as is should maybe reflect on that a bit before casually saying they themselves would be ok having the disease. 
 

Or maybe World Cup winner Steve Thompson is just a snowflake trying to make a bit of cash. 

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11 hours ago, LondonBristolian said:

Expense aside, why would what you suggest be a bad thing? I’d not want that forced on small businesses for obvious reasons but, for any company where the money is there, what would be the downside to offering an option of a standing desk? Difference is football has the money and, even better, a potential solution that will cost nothing at all.

Difference is twofold:

1) Formula 1 Drivers know the risks and willingly sign up to them. With football and dementia, this is a new area where we don’t yet quite know the risks and getting the facts has to be the first step to ensuring footballers can make an informed decision about their health.

2) Formula 1 is incredibly impressive and a leader amongst sports in what it does to keep participants safe. They are not just sticking people in fast cars and taking their chances but spending millions increasing safety at every step. Hence why last year Grosjean walked away unscathed from a crash that would have likely been fatal twenty years ago and outside a formula 1 car. If you want to use Formula 1 as an example, it is not an example for how to let people carry on with unchecked risk but an example of how football might take every conceivable step to mitigating the risk from heading a football.

I’d say Grosjean would have been cremated in that accident 5 years ago, let alone 20……. F1’s work on driver safety is a huge achievement.

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2 hours ago, MarcusX said:

I haven't caught up with the whole thread but I heard someone talk about this yesterday and they were saying although the balls are lighter, they are kicked with more force now so the extra speed and power behind a shot/cross/kick almost counteracts the advancement in ball technology. Not seen any actual study or evidence of this just going by the words of a spokesman for one of the charities

Footballs are marginally lighter. Its not the primary reason for balls travellng consistently marginally faster. Balls are rounder and their manufacture is creating rounder (internal stitching, panel design) balls  = More aerodynamic = They travel faster. At present no football is perfectly round and stays in that shape. Footballs used to be roundish and the shape and weight (could retain moisture) detioriated with use of the ball.

At present research cannot identify why footballers have an advanced risk of dementia. Heading is a cause but why? What type of heading creates a advanced risk? Frequency? Weight of ball? The force of the ball? At present that cannot be answered.

To control risk, the risk and its causes have to be understood. 

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3 minutes ago, Cowshed said:

Footballs are marginally lighter. Its not the primary reason for balls travellng consistently marginally faster. Balls are rounder and their manufacture is creating rounder (internal stitching, panel design) balls  = More aerodynamic = They travel faster. At present no football is perfectly round and stays in that shape. Footballs used to be roundish and the shape and weight (could retain moisture) detioriated with use of the ball.

At present research cannot identify why footballers have an advanced risk of dementia. Heading is a cause but why? What type of heading creates a advanced risk? Frequency? Weight of ball? The force of the ball? At present that cannot be answered.

To control risk, the risk and its causes have to be understood. 

Thanks, I did see your previous comment after actually and found it interesting

Personally I feel there are risks in life and we weigh up what we deem worthy. It's useful to know there might be a link, and we can choose to continue to do so knowing that risk. I'm at the end of my footballing "career" now so any damage is likely already done!

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13 minutes ago, lukebcfc1989 said:

Unfortunately this will be the case, not everyone is morally built correctly and opportunism bringing the game as we know it in to distribute based on as someone correctly put it earlier in the thread “a load of bollocks” is a real possibility!

These players are adults, very well payed adults playing a competitive sport we pay a lot of money to watch!

If they are too frightened to head a football with the knowledge on board get out!

Playing 5 a side rules football with 11 v 11 is not an option!

If this disturbs you please go and watch Golf leave Football alone

You make some really solid points so I'm off to watch some golf.

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19 minutes ago, Lewisdabaron said:

Yet smoking remains legal…. 

Not sure if you're trying to make a point about something not being banned due to its negative health impacts that smoking is the best example you could have picked, or are you just too young to remember it being banned?

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12 minutes ago, IAmNick said:

Not sure if you're trying to make a point about something not being banned due to its negative health impacts that smoking is the best example you could have picked, or are you just too young to remember it being banned?

I think the point he is trying to make is that we all know the negative health impacts to smoking, but many of us still smoke cigarettes knowing the long term consequences and it's not banned by the Government. I would say it is also far more of an issue to your health than heading a Football, personally.

If we know there is a long term issue with heading football's then young players have the choice whether to take it up as a career, or not. The reward of playing Football outweighs the risk I would say. Individuals have a choice they can make

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8 minutes ago, 2015 said:

I think the point he is trying to make is that we all know the negative health impacts to smoking, but many of us still smoke cigarettes knowing the long term consequences and it's not banned by the Government. I would say it is also far more of an issue to your health than heading a Football, personally.

If we know there is a long term issue with heading football's then young players have the choice whether to take it up as a career, or not. The reward of playing Football outweighs the risk I would say. Individuals have a choice they can make

No one takes up smoking as a career. A more apt comparison would be asbestos workers. People that go into that know the risks, know they are payed well, but still are forced to wear all sorts of protective equipment to protect themselves from the dangers posed by their job. 

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Just now, James54De said:

No one takes up smoking as a career. A more apt comparison would be asbestos workers. People that go into that know the risks, know they are payed well, but still are forced to wear all sorts of protective equipment to protect themselves from the dangers posed by their job. 

Maybe the answer should be footballers wear NFL style helmets then

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11 minutes ago, 2015 said:

I think the point he is trying to make is that we all know the negative health impacts to smoking, but many of us still smoke cigarettes knowing the long term consequences and it's not banned by the Government. I would say it is also far more of an issue to your health than heading a Football, personally.

If we know there is a long term issue with heading football's then young players have the choice whether to take it up as a career, or not. The reward of playing Football outweighs the risk I would say. Individuals have a choice they can make

Of course, but you're not required to smoke for your career.

I'm not saying we should ditch heading... not sure where I stand on it to be honest, and not sure I know enough about it. I think it should definitely be researched, players made more aware, and a discussion about if there are any easy mitigations to put in place.

For me if there's no way around the danger - if you need to run a steel mill you're going to have people around extremely hot metal for example, then that's one thing. If there is something that can be done (even if it has a small impact) then it should be looked at. Workplace deaths have been hugely reduced thanks to the much hated "health and safety", things that probably would have been just dismissed or said they'd "kill the industry" if implements when they came up.

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17 minutes ago, James54De said:

Helmets make things worse, hence why head guards are being moved out of boxing. 

I just personally think getting rid of heading would not improve the spectacle of Football on the whole, yes you may get dementia in your later years, my Grandfather did (part of getting old unfortunately). There must be other avenues to go down rather than just ditching heading completely. 

I think we need to wait and see if there has been an impact on Footballers who had their careers within the last 20 years where Football's of today do not pick up the water and mud of a heavy pitch and are lighter during matches, compared to that of players who played in  the 1960s and 1970s.

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2 minutes ago, IAmNick said:

Of course, but you're not required to smoke for your career.

I'm not saying we should ditch heading... not sure where I stand on it to be honest, and not sure I know enough about it. I think it should definitely be researched, players made more aware, and a discussion about if there are any easy mitigations to put in place.

For me if there's no way around the danger - if you need to run a steel mill you're going to have people around extremely hot metal for example, then that's one thing. If there is something that can be done (even if it has a small impact) then it should be looked at. Workplace deaths have been hugely reduced thanks to the much hated "health and safety", things that probably would have been just dismissed or said they'd "kill the industry" if implements when they came up.

Head injuries in any sport now have more development and time put in to them over the past decade and this is for very good reasons. I understand that physical hits to the head is not normal either boxing, karate or heading a ball in football. There are risks in any sport where a persons body can be impacted and not just too the head.

Dementia and similar like in all the previous posts over the last few days from my perspective should not even have been connected in any way or form. My dad died of this and there is history in our family and as far as I know never headed a bloody football in their lives.

To gradually phase out football in heading and OK we need to continue in education around head and brain injuries would be like phasing out Ice in a stadium and trying to play ice hockey or cricket without a bat.

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1 minute ago, 2015 said:

I just personally think getting rid of heading would not improve the spectacle of Football on the whole, yes you may get dementia in your later years, my Grandfather did (part of getting old unfortunately). There must be other avenues to go down rather than just ditching heading completely. 

I think we need to wait and see if there has been an impact on Footballers who had their careers within the last 20 years where Football's of today do not pick up the water and mud of a heavy pitch and are lighter during matches, compared to that of players who played in  the 1960s and 1970s.

Of course it wouldn’t, but that not why it is being discussed. Of course, players health has to come above spectacle though. It’s selfish to suggest otherwise. 

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The players would be aware of the risks as it is now being discussed, like they could get a career threatening injury at any time.

 

We need to stop enjoying our own lives out of fear of health and safety risks, most things we do daily are a risk to health and safety, but we still do it, because we enjoy it.

It is down to individuals to make their own informed decisions, does the pay of £10k a week make it worth the long term risk? Me personally, I would say absolutely. 

To preserve what we enjoy watching is because we love the Sport as it is. To change it, feels like we are losing the soul of the game. Call some of us selfish all you want, but it would take away a part of the game we love seeing.

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20 minutes ago, 2015 said:

The players would be aware of the risks as it is now being discussed, like they could get a career threatening injury at any time.

 

We need to stop enjoying our own lives out of fear of health and safety risks, most things we do daily are a risk to health and safety, but we still do it, because we enjoy it.

It is down to individuals to make their own informed decisions, does the pay of £10k a week make it worth the long term risk? Me personally, I would say absolutely. 

To preserve what we enjoy watching is because we love the Sport as it is. To change it, feels like we are losing the soul of the game. Call some of us selfish all you want, but it would take away a part of the game we love seeing.

So bring back two footed tackles from behind, shoulder charging keepers into the net, and so on then?

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13 hours ago, lukebcfc1989 said:

Again how do we expect to see Burnley compete with Man City ?

it’s not right and becomes predictable, boring 

We need clear evidence a list of affected players 

there playing positions so we can know how often they headed the ball 

and what decade they played in

You don't need it.  You want it.  The people who make the decision are the ones who need it.

13 hours ago, lukebcfc1989 said:

So we are talking the 70s at the latest in this research,

End conclusion raise awareness include the science in professional contracts and leave the choice up to the competitors. 

The next batch of research will no doubt start to include those who played in the 80's.  Cause and effect are time delayed, so at present you won't see many cases of players from the 90's onward developing dementia yet.

13 hours ago, 2015 said:

How many Footballers have died from dementia through heading since it was a Professional Sport bud if you are such an expert? 

You seem passionate about something that will very much take something from the game that we have all grown up with and loved, course there will be some like me on here who will really not want it gone.

You are aware that research evolves as the world and technology does, yeah?  Back in the early 1900's there wouldn't have been the resources, monetary or otherwise to conduct this research. Neither would a link have necessarily been made.  Indeed, until the late 19th century, dementia was merely a broad stroke diagnosis.  It merely referred to those who had lost the ability to reason....in the 19th Century many on this forum would've been diagnoses with it! 

12 hours ago, lukebcfc1989 said:

Exactly madness, dementia is a terrible disease but I do question the validity and strange passionate views some people have…

it’s simple really tell the professionals what could happen, financially you will compensated very well for the small risk in a 10 year career…

Are you in or out …

No more to be said really 

Yes, they will...but ultimately people generally have dementia, but it's their families that suffer.

12 hours ago, 2015 said:

It will also no doubt be jumped upon by certain politicians and anyone against the change will be seen as not caring about the health and safety of others.

It's predictable.

The truth often is predictable.  The whole attitude displayed is one of "They accept the risk, so I don't care what happens to them so long as I'm entertained."

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36 minutes ago, James54De said:

Of course it wouldn’t, but that not why it is being discussed. Of course, players health has to come above spectacle though. It’s selfish to suggest otherwise. 

They choose to play

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Absolutely ridiculous.

I played years at centre back and headed the ball thousands of times... I've also done boxing training, did it for a few years.

If they said this could happen in boxing - i would totally get it - but not football.

I can not see how heading a ball can cause any damage - When the ball is blasted and a shot is being blocked, MAYBE. But the rest of time, sorry cant see it.

The old footballs used to get really heavy apparently, when they got wet, but the modern balls. No chance, not having it.

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3 minutes ago, Riaz said:

Absolutely ridiculous.

I played years at centre back and headed the ball thousands of times... I've also done boxing training, did it for a few years.

If they said this could happen in boxing - i would totally get it - but not football.

I can not see how heading a ball can cause any damage - When the ball is blasted and a shot is being blocked, MAYBE. But the rest of time, sorry cant see it.

The old footballs used to get really heavy apparently, when they got wet, but the modern balls. No chance, not having it.

Thousands of hours of research from scientists with expertise but we should probably ignore all that because Riaz from OTIB ‘isn’t having it’ 😆

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13 hours ago, James54De said:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.com/sport/football/58060644.amp 
 

One in three ex professional centre half’s will develop a neurodegenerative brain disease by the age of 65. Think about that. 

Not wanting to play things down, but have a couple of issues with the data.

First, the numbers in the research (was 7ish thousand I think), but of people born over a nearly 80 year time period. A time during which there were 2 World Wars, one of which some players conceivably fought in and effects from that could have played more of a part than heading a ball.

Some rough maths puts the number of players from the Prem to League 2 at 2500-2700. Roughly a third of what's in the study. 

That's just for the sake of scale.

Now, the numbers being higher for Centre Backs could support the idea, but what about midfielders and/or target men, the players who will be challenging for things like goal kicks? 

Are the numbers higher for target men?

With a sample under 8,000 and a rate of was it 1 in 6(?) There's still potential that actually a number of those would sadly have developed dementia regardless and it was an unfortunate group of people.

This can be somewhat resolved if the research goes wider and looks at more people and the numbers don't make a noticeable change.

With regards to the footballs being lighter, and thus able to travel faster, that itself doesn't necessarily make a huge difference. 

F=MA, and one being higher and the other lower doesn't always mean they cancel out, especially as the amount lighter that the footballs have got isn't that much. But the crucial thing is that the weight of the modern ball doesnt change that much.

The older footballs would retain weight from the water when it was wet (and with our weather this is something that should not be discarded) whereas a modern footballs weight will largely remain similar to when it is dry.

So potentially an older football, despite perhaps moving slower may actually impact more force when headed than a modern one.

 

If the research continues and still finds a large disparity, then look at changing things, if all things have been taken into account.

As of right now, and without knowing what factors they've taken into consideration I'd like to know more details and see a larger sample than spans more countries than the current one.

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14 minutes ago, Phileas Fogg said:

Thousands of hours of research from scientists with expertise but we should probably ignore all that because Riaz from OTIB ‘isn’t having it’ 😆

I've never had so much of a headache from heading a ball.

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1 hour ago, Riaz said:

Absolutely ridiculous.

I played years at centre back and headed the ball thousands of times... I've also done boxing training, did it for a few years.

If they said this could happen in boxing - i would totally get it - but not football.

I can not see how heading a ball can cause any damage - When the ball is blasted and a shot is being blocked, MAYBE. But the rest of time, sorry cant see it.

The old footballs used to get really heavy apparently, when they got wet, but the modern balls. No chance, not having it.

You don’t have to have it, it’s fact. 

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