Why a Soccer Concussion Headband Is a Virtue in Modern Soccer
Apr 27, 2022
A soccer concussion headband doesn’t offer 100% protection against head injuries, but it can significantly reduce a player’s risk of getting one. That is still crucial for today’s soccer-style, which is more physical than in the past (especially in women’s soccer).
Now that there’s more research to show the dangers of brain injuries, players and their coaches (and parents)are responsible for encouraging the use of a soccer concussion headband. This post will analyze soccer today and how a concussion headband can protect players against the worst effects of brain injuries.
Physicality/Aggression in Modern Soccer
The “Beautiful Game” can get rough. Sure, it doesn’t come with the bulldozing hits of American Football or Rugby, but it has its fair share of contact. Unlike baseball or basketball, where minimal contact could lead to a foul, soccer allows more “hits.” And don’t let the injury-faking and diving of pro soccer fool you - the game has become more aggressive.
Typical Soccer Contact Maneuvers
- Colliding head-to-head in an attempt to head the ball
- Elbows, knees, or kicks to the body or face
- Sliding tackles
- Bumping into each other while attempting to steal the ball
Coaches from the youth and high school level to the college/university and pro leagues encourage players to play more aggressively. That means attacking the ball more and getting more physical (within reason) to steal the ball or maintain ball possession.
Keep in mind that players are getting bigger, faster, and stronger now. The hits are more brutal, especially when heavier players collide with smaller ones.
Contrary to popular opinion, head-to-head contact is the leading cause of concussions in soccer. Players are also getting kicked in the head (usually unintentionally). With all of that considered, including the fact that head injuries aren’t always apparent, wearing a soccer concussion headband is a good idea for players nowadays.
Brain Injury Statistics
Research supports that soccer has its share of risks when it comes to injury, including those that affect the head and brain.
A study analyzing concussion rates in youth athletes (under 18) found that soccer had the 5th highest rate of concussions among the 11 sports listed in the report. It beat wrestling - a martial art - in concussion rate incidence! That’s a big deal.
A report published in December 2021 revealed that soccer concussions are rising. The report revealed women’s soccer had the highest incidence of concussions, with 7.35 per 10,000 Athletic Exposures (AE). The report also noted that soccer concussions increased in 2015-2016 and 2018-2019.
These findings prove that soccer does carry a significant risk of head injuries, and the game is getting more physical. Again, this makes it wise for modern players to consider wearing a concussion headband.
Soccer Concussion Headband
A soccer concussion headband is a virtue because although it can’t prevent all concussions, it can reduce the risk of sustaining one. The purpose of the soccer concussion headband is to reduce the impact forces of collisions, whether that is a collision with the ball, another player, or the ground. Less force means less rattling of the brain and the skull, which saves a player from the worst effects of head impacts.
Our ExoShield soccer concussion headband ranked the highest at reducing brain injury risks in a study by the Helmet Lab at Virginia Tech. Researchers at the university conducted a study to test the efficacy of numerous headgear and found that ours could reduce impact forces by 84%. That’s a significant reduction, which can mean a much less severe injury if a player gets hit.
What Players Have to Say
Of course, scientific research doesn’t consider factors such as comfort and appearance. Many players refuse to wear a soccer concussion headband because they think it looks “dorky.” But elite players - some of whom wear our ExoShield headguard - have given reasons why they trust and rely on it.
Bethany Balcer, Forward, OL Reign
“Their headgear is incredibly comfortable to wear, and I feel like it gives me the kind of confidence I need to go out and perform to the best of my ability.”
Tuija Hyyrynen, Defender, Juventus
When asked if the headgear changed the touch or feel of the ball: “Not as such. I’m rather bold with it when it absorbs shock...”
When asked about her experiences after wearing the headgear, “...no more headaches and concussions”.
Sean Boyle, Goalkeeper, US Paralympic Soccer Team
“I’m confident I can play without it, but I used it because ‘why not’ and I never want to have a concussion.”
Soccer Concussion Headbands as a Staple Equipment? Why Not
Wearing a soccer concussion headband is strictly optional - and perhaps, it should stay that way. But if more players, parents, and coaches see the benefits of this headgear, they’ll see that there’s no reason not to wear it as a staple. Reducing your brain injury risk by 80% or more seems like a perfectly valid reason to wear one.
Protecting yourself from pain, loss of cognitive ability, and long-term disability, are perfectly valid reasons to wear one. A concussion headband could mean the difference between a long soccer career or a career cut too short. We’re all in favor of seeing the former.
Learn more about our Storelli ExoShield Head Guard and how it may offer your child unparalleled protection against head injuries.