Soccer Can Lead To Head Injury

September 7, 2011 Updated Sep 7, 2011 at 8:19 PM EDT

By WKBW News

September 7, 2011 Updated Sep 7, 2011 at 8:19 PM EDT

(WKBW/Cleveland Clinic) Thousands of children are suiting up for soccer this fall.

Many parents consider soccer a 'safe' alternative to football, but new research from the Cleveland Clinic suggests otherwise.

The research team specifically looked at heading of the ball and concussion risk.

Heading is when players use their unprotected head to control or advance the ball.

Studies show that a player heads the ball anywhere from 6-12 times during a game and possibly even more during practice, and researchers found that it is possible that repetitive heading in soccer
may cause mild brain injury over time.

Doctors say the risk may be related to a number of factors, including the strength of the player and how hard the player is pushing off.

They also say It's related to the weight of the ball and the amount of air
in the ball.

Doctors say if the air is low, it allows the ball to maintain contact with the skull for a longer period of time as it's bouncing back and as a result, a greater absorption of energy by the brain.

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