Scottish FA set to ban children under the age of 12 from heading in training

Briggsbear

Well-Known Member
Children could be banned from heading the ball in Scotland because of links between football and dementia.

Later this month, the Scottish FA is expected to announce a ban on under-12s heading the ball in training.

The United States have put a similar ban in place since 2015 but the SFA would become the first European country to impose such a restriction.

The decision follows the release of a report by the University of Glasgow last October, which discovered former professional footballers were three-and-a-half times more likely to die of a degenerative brain disease.

Former Arsenal and Celtic striker John Hartson praised the Scottish FA for their stance on the subject.

He told the BBC: “Heading was a massive part of my game. Managers bought me because I could head the ball.

“There have been some serious situations where players have lost their lives and ex-legends suffering from dementia, so I’m glad the SFA are leading the rest of football and doing something about it.”
 

Briggsbear

Well-Known Member
I didn’t realise this was already in place in the US.

Mixed thoughts on this to be honest. Horrible disease and if the link is large enough then we should be doing all we can to protect from it.
 

ICA_86

Well-Known Member
Anything that encourages Scottish players to keep the ball on the ground is a good thing. Smaller pitches, no heading until later - whatever it is, it’s a positive step.

I‘m sure I read that the Bobby Moore Foundation fully supports a move for this down south and they’ll know more about it than anyone on here.
 

sirstevefleming

Well-Known Member
Don't really recall heading the ball much at that age anyway........

Maybe that's the issue!
Yup kids that age will rarely head the ball during competitive games. Any heading will be done in training when you throw the ball at the kid from a short distance away. I’m very sceptical this change will make an ounce of difference to long term neurological outcomes. Banning in teenagers is another debate......
 

Govan_derry

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
So I’ve been involved in kids football and my youngest is 10 and plays for a local team.
I have probably seen him head the ball 5 or 6 times in the past 3 years because all the rules are set so long balls or high balls aren’t played ie keeper gets a free pass out and it’s kick ins but they need to be played short

Heading the ball is a skill but it has to be taught properly. So you need to meet the ball and put your neck into it but it’s not coached properly to youngsters. The syfa should be helping kids and coaches to learn this rather than ban altogether.

I don’t think these studies reflect modern day either. I doubt anyone got dementia heading a size 4 ball at toryglen in an u11’s match. The balls we use now are completely different from anything that was used 20 or more years ago. I’ve not seen a mouldmaster since I played school football so who are these studies based on
 

The Dude

Well-Known Member
So I’ve been involved in kids football and my youngest is 10 and plays for a local team.
I have probably seen him head the ball 5 or 6 times in the past 3 years because all the rules are set so long balls or high balls aren’t played ie keeper gets a free pass out and it’s kick ins but they need to be played short

Heading the ball is a skill but it has to be taught properly. So you need to meet the ball and put your neck into it but it’s not coached properly to youngsters. The syfa should be helping kids and coaches to learn this rather than ban altogether.

I don’t think these studies reflect modern day either. I doubt anyone got dementia heading a size 4 ball at toryglen in an u11’s match. The balls we use now are completely different from anything that was used 20 or more years ago. I’ve not seen a mouldmaster since I played school football so who are these studies based on
The studies very much look at modern-day as much as historical cases and there's plenty of evidence that heading the ball as a child can cause concussive injuries and increase the likelihood of serious neurological issues further down the line. The ban isn't coming from the SYFA but the SFA.
 

strathavenbear

Well-Known Member
Mouldmasters probably caused a helluva lot of cases in the U.K and I'm no kidding.
Remember well the old leather balls when they were wet being like a brick when you headed one, especially when the casing had started to peel.
I'm in my fifties and school football then involved a punt up the park and some poor so in so having to try and get a decent header in.
 

TQ3

Well-Known Member
Having watched my dad fade away in the last year, now unable to recognise my sister, who has been caring for him for the last 8yrs. He played football for living at Junior level and was renowned for his “bullet headers”.
He finished playing in his 30’s and was fine until he hit his 70’s, then the dementia (frontal lobe.) kicked in, he has lived in a home for the 3yrs after he was found wandering the streets at 2am, knocking peoples doors to see if his pals were in.
Well done Scottish football, it’s the correct thing to do.
 

ICA_86

Well-Known Member
Remember well the old leather balls when they were wet being like a brick when you headed one, especially when the casing had started to peel.
I'm in my fifties and school football then involved a punt up the park and some poor so in so having to try and get a decent header in.
Getting a Mouldmaster off the inside of your thigh was worse than anything, especially when it was cold.

You could see the fucking logo on your skin for the next three hours.
 

monkey magic

Well-Known Member
It'll be interesting to see any data or reports on neurological damage to players from even the 1980's-2000's after a lifetime of heading footballs. Its almost a certainty that the previous generation of players incurred exactly that due to the heavy footballs used back then.
 

The Dude

Well-Known Member
How does this work then for corners and other set pieces when the obvious thing is to cross it into the box
You ever watch much under-11s fitba? Crosses into the box from corners aren't all that common an occurrence. Particularly not ones at head height.
 

erskine bear

Active Member
i disagree with this so much, heading a ball was one of my favourite things to do. If children are prepared to take this so called risk why are people trying to dictate ?. My little brother is 8 and as far as i'm aware nobody in our family has any issue with him heading a ball im 21 genuinely appalled at this. In all fairness at training there really isn't much headering but still creating such a regulation is ridiculous
 

erskine bear

Active Member
Remember well the old leather balls when they were wet being like a brick when you headed one, especially when the casing had started to peel.
I'm in my fifties and school football then involved a punt up the park and some poor so in so having to try and get a decent header in.
did alan shearer not do a documentary recently that found the new balls are actually heavier than the old leather ones ?
 

RfcIbrox

Well-Known Member
Anything that encourages Scottish players to keep the ball on the ground is a good thing. Smaller pitches, no heading until later - whatever it is, it’s a positive step.

I‘m sure I read that the Bobby Moore Foundation fully supports a move for this down south and they’ll know more about it than anyone on here.
Jeff Astle?
 

TimzRFudz

Well-Known Member
Some astounding lack of understanding as to the scientific research process from some posters on this thread.
 

Jamie1873

Well-Known Member
This has already happened.
I help run a 2010's team and we received notification that we should not be teaching or encouraging the boys to head the ball now.

Easy for them to say when you have teams lumping the ball goal wards at head height. Hardly going to tell them to duck!
 

Renfrew@UKGB&NI

Well-Known Member
I'm just wondering why women are getting dementia. I've known a few be it through family or friends and this comes from a generation that didn't play football.
 

ScottXC

Well-Known Member
Would this mean that your wingers would be either learning to cross the ball in low, or not at all? Or to an empty space until the time is right that the striker can begin learning how to header the ball?

I'm all for helping folk and it's hard to argue with the science in a lot of things. I just look to the two goals Morelos scored at Feyenoord and Katic scoring against them very recently. Incredible moments for us, would wonder how they goals are scored if heading the ball continues down this path. I doubt it would end at stopping 12 and under from heading.
 
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