Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2023) 22, 591 - 596   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2023.591

Research article
Quantitative Analysis of Ball-Head Impact Exposure in Youth Soccer Players
Victoria E. Wahlquist1, , Thomas A. Buckley1, Jaclyn B. Caccese2, Joseph J. Glutting3, Todd D. Royer1, Thomas W. Kaminski1
Author Information
1 Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, University of Delaware, USA
2 School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, USA
3 School of Education, University of Delaware, USA

Victoria E. Wahlquist
‚úČ Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
Email: vwahlq@udel.edu
Publish Date
Received: 27-06-2023
Accepted: 24-08-2023
Published (online): 01-09-2023
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ABSTRACT

Since the implementation of the US Soccer heading guidelines released in 2015, little to no research on ball-head impact exposure in the United States youth soccer population has been conducted. The purpose was to compare ball-head impact exposure across sex and age in youth soccer players over a weekend tournament. Ten male and female games for each age group (Under-12 [U12], U13, and U14) were video recorded at a weekend tournament for a total of 60 games. Ball-head impact exposure for each game was then coded following a review of each recording. Male players were 2.8 times more likely to have ball-head impacts than female players, (p < 0.001) particularly in the U14 age group when compared to the U12 age group (p = 0.012). Overall 92.4% of players experienced 0-1 ball-head impacts per game with the remaining players experiencing 2+ ball-head impacts per game. Ball-head impact exposure levels are low in the youth players. Most youth soccer players do not head the soccer ball during match play and those that did, only headed the ball on average once per game. Overall, the difference in ball-head impact exposure per player was less than 1 between all the groups, which may have no clinical meaning.

Key words: Repetitive head impacts, football, aerial challenges, concussion, heading


           Key Points
  • Ball-head impact exposure in youth soccer players was compared across sex and age during a weekend soccer tournament.
  • Youth soccer players experienced low levels of ball-head impact exposure with the majority of players experiencing 0-1 ball-head impacts per game.
  • Ball-head impact exposure was higher in males versus females and also increased with age.
 
 
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