Well, according to a neuroscience expert from the University of Birmingham, yes it probably is based on his findings that repeated heading may cause brain damage. You only have to look at the professional game to realise that there is a LOT of heading that goes on, and it has been suggested that the repeated heading of a football can equate to the same damage inflicted to the brain by a heavy weight boxers punch! That’s the professional game, and this is obviously very different to school football, but the damage may well be relative. However, in my 20 years of competitive football I struggle to remember me or any of my team mates heading a ball during a match or training, at least not from a hefty goal kick or corner. Heading was an infrequent occurrence as a young player, but ruling it out completely seems to be the only thing governors can do…I mean who’s going to risk signing off a potentially brain damaging part of football, I can see the court cases now… ‘my child headed a ball at school and now has a bad memory’. On a serious note though, we are obligated to heed the advice of experts and I completely support any regulations put in place to preserve the health and safety of a young child.
This does beg the question, what will be left for children to do in this PC world we find ourselves in, are we at risk of becoming a soft nation with no competitive edge in future sporting events? Quite possibly, yes!
The Telegraph, (2014). Ban heading in school football? Use your head! Retrieved 18th August, 2014, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/11026084/Ban-heading-in-school-football-Use-your-head.html