Soccer Headgear: The Evolution and Future
May 23, 2023
Soccer headgear hasn’t been around for long, much like women’s soccer gear. Other sports have had head protection for a lot longer than soccer despite the need for it. Soccer headgear had to come from somewhere, but it’s a good thing it’s around now to keep soccer players safer playing the game. Let’s discuss the history, present, and future of soccer head protection.
The history of soccer headgear
For a long time, soccer headgear didn’t exist, even when helmets were used in football, hockey, and biking, for example. Soccer wasn’t seen as a contact sport. However, players were at an increased risk of concussion, most often when two players go to headbutt a ball and collide with each other in the process.
Girls’ high school soccer had a concussion rate of almost eight and a half per 10,000 games and practices, twice as high as boys’ soccer. The rate of concussions in female players is increasing, also because more girls are playing the sport. In 2019, there were around 400,000 female soccer players, 10 percent more than in 2009, and 20 percent more than in 1980. More and more girls are playing the sport, but soccer head injury protection wasn’t keeping pace.
Soccer headgear has only been around for around two decades. While soccer head protection is available and permitted in the game, few people have adopted them. Those who have, are seeing results and playing safer.
How soccer headgear is performing today
A few years ago, a study by the University of Wisconsin found that top-quality soccer headgear significantly lowered concussion rates among players. The same study found that unlike wearing helmets, soccer headbands didn’t instill in players a false sense of security leading them to play more dangerously.
Similarly, the Helmet Lab at Virginia Tech University ran a test on twenty-two different soccer head protection models to pinpoint the most effective one. Two dummy heads were slammed together with and without headgear to determine concussion rates using sensors that measured linear and rotational acceleration. The results provided a STAR rating to determine the efficiency of various models.
Their testing found that the highest-scoring headband was Storelli’s ExoShield Head Guard. This soccer headgear model reduces the concussion rate by 84 percent. The ExoShield is powered by nine to twelve millimeters of Team Wendy Zorbium® foam, the same military-grade lining used in the helmets of the US Army, Navy, and Special Forces. For clinical data, read more here.
What’s the future of soccer headgear?
Storelli is committed to the safety of soccer players. As it’s your passion, it’s also ours. That’s why we are constantly ensuring the integrity of our products so soccer players can continue training and competing as safely as they can. Ideally, more and more players will adopt the use of soccer head injury protection so they can have lasting careers.
With the product established and the data to back up its success, what players should do moving forward is:
- Get to know how soccer headgear provides protection
- Understand how soccer headgear is made
- See how G-force affects concussions
- Remove the stigma around soccer headgear
- Become familiar with the science of concussions
And like those that are benefitting from soccer headgear already, get yourself a pair at Storelli.