Association football headgear

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Association football headgear is worn by association football players to protect the head from injury. The headgear is designed to absorb the impact of blows to the head by external physical forces in order to reduce the chance of a concussion, [1] a noteworthy example in international football being Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech from Arsenal. These collisions can occur from head to head, head to ground, head to goal post, or head to body extremity contact. It is flexible, not a rigid helmet.

Association football team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Injury physiological wound caused by an external source

Injury, also known as physical trauma, is damage to the body caused by external force. This may be caused by accidents, falls, hits, weapons, and other causes. Major trauma is injury that has the potential to cause prolonged disability or death.

Concussion type of traumatic brain injury

Concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), is typically defined as a head injury that temporarily affects brain functioning. Symptoms may include headaches, trouble with thinking, memory or concentration, nausea, blurry vision, sleep disturbances or mood changes. Some symptoms may begin immediately, while others may appear days after the injury. Fewer than 10% of sports-related concussions among children are associated with loss of consciousness. It is not unusual for symptoms to last up to four weeks.


Function and structure

Since "soccer is one of a few sports in which the head is intentionally and frequently used to strike the ball", [2] a uniquely designed form of headgear was created. A plastic helmet as in other sports would not suffice since they are bulky and may consist of uneven surfaces; this would make ball control off a header nearly impossible. Most soccer headgear is made from foam that will cushion the head from the full force of the impact. The softness of the foam will increase the time of impact and lessen the blow without altering the direction and distance of the ball as it rebounds off the head. [2] [3]

Helmet any type of historical or modern armor worn to protect the head

A helmet is a form of protective gear worn to protect the head. More specifically, a helmet complements the skull in protecting the human brain. Ceremonial or symbolic helmets without protective function are sometimes worn. Soldiers wear helmets, often made from lightweight plastic materials.

Foam form of matter

Foam is an object formed by trapping pockets of gas in a liquid or solid. A bath sponge and the head on a glass of beer are examples of foams. In most foams, the volume of gas is large, with thin films of liquid or solid separating the regions of gas. Soap foams are also known as suds.

Types of headgear

ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) set a product performance standard for headgear in soccer in 2006. This standard does not address head to ball contact, solely head to hard surface contact. There are currently two headguards that meet the ASTM soccer headgear standard, the DonJoy Hat Trick and the Full90 Sports Premier-A. [4] Both comply with FIFA, the U.S. Soccer Federation, and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

ASTM International standards organization

ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services. Some 12,575 ASTM voluntary consensus standards operate globally. The organization's headquarters is in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, about 5 mi (8.0 km) northwest of Philadelphia.

FIFA International governing body of association football

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is an organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, and eFootball. FIFA is responsible for the organization of football's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which commenced in 1991.

National Federation of State High School Associations organization

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is the body that writes the rules of competition for most high school sports and activities in the United States. NFHS's headquarters are located in White River State Park in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Headgear studies

Injury to the head can occur from repeatedly making contact with the ball through headers or from a single blow. The danger of this trauma is especially significant to children because their bodies are not fully developed and may not be able to counteract a blow to the head. [2] Minor trauma similar to pugilistic dementia may occur from repetitively heading the ball. [2] A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that headgear does not help reduce the impact on the head from ball contact. This is because a human head is stiffer than the soccer ball. On impact, the ball will deform more than the head. [5] However, studies in 2006 by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Pennsylvania found no link between brain injuries and routinely heading the ball. [6] Because of this, the aim of wearing headgear turned to mitigating damage from accidental head on head collisions between players on the pitch. It was found[ by whom? ] that there was an overall 33% reduction of impact force on the head from head to head impacts when headgear was used. [5] The U.S. Soccer Federation sees that protective headgear in soccer can provide measurable benefit in head to head contact, and permits players to wear headgear at their own discretion until more conclusive evidence is obtained. [6]

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), also known as UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, or simply Carolina is a public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is the flagship of the 17 campuses of the University of North Carolina system. After being chartered in 1789, the university first began enrolling students in 1795, which also allows it to be one of three schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States. Among the claimants, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the only one to have held classes and graduated students as a public university in the eighteenth century.

University of Pennsylvania Private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university located in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chartered in 1755, Penn is the sixth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum. The university's coat of arms features a dolphin on its red chief, adopted from Benjamin Franklin's own coat of arms.

United States Soccer Federation official governing body of soccer in the United States

The United States Soccer Federation (USSF), commonly referred to as U.S. Soccer, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the official governing body of the sport of soccer in the United States. With headquarters in Chicago, the FIFA member governs U.S. amateur and professional soccer, including the men's, women's, youth, beach soccer, futsal, and Paralympic national teams. U.S. Soccer sanctions referees and soccer tournaments for most soccer leagues in the United States. The U.S. Soccer Federation also administers and operates the U.S. Open Cup, which was first held in 1914.

See also (other equipment)

Kit (association football) uniform in association football; standard equipment and attire worn by players

In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sport's Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, and also prohibit the use of anything that is dangerous to either the player or another participant. Individual competitions may stipulate further restrictions, such as regulating the size of logos displayed on shirts and stating that, in the event of a match between teams with identical or similar colours, the away team must change to different coloured attire.

Shin guard clothing

A shin guard or shin pad is a piece of equipment worn on the front of a player’s shin to protect them from injury. These are commonly used in sports including association football, baseball, ice hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, cricket, mountain bike trials, and other sports. This is due to either being required by the rules/laws of the sport or worn voluntarily by the participants for protective measures.

Football boot footwear worn when playing association football

Football boots, called cleats or soccer shoes in North America, are an item of footwear worn when playing football. Those designed for grass pitches have studs on the outsole to aid grip. From simple and humble beginnings football boots have come a long way and today find themselves subject to much research, development, sponsorship and marketing at the heart of a multi-national global industry. Modern "boots" are not truly boots in that they do not cover the ankle - like most other types of specialist sports footwear, their basic design and appearance has converged with that of sneakers since the 1960s.

Related Research Articles

Football helmet

The football helmet is a piece of protective equipment used mainly in American football and Canadian football. It consists of a hard plastic shell with thick padding on the inside, a face mask made of one or more plastic-coated metal bars, and a chinstrap. Each position has a different type of face mask to balance protection and visibility, and some players add polycarbonate visors to their helmets, which are used to protect their eyes from glare and impacts. Helmets are a requirement at all levels of organized football, except for non-tackle variations such as flag football. Although they are protective, players can and do still suffer head injuries such as concussions.

Health issues in American football

Health issues in American football comprise a large number of health risks associated with participating in the sport. Injuries are relatively common in American football, due to its nature as a full-contact game. Injuries occur during both practice and games. Several factors can affect the frequency of injuries: epidemiological studies have shown older players can be at a greater risk, while equipment and experienced coaches can reduce the risk of injury. Common injuries include strains, sprains, fractures, dislocations, and concussions. Concussions have become a concern, as they increase the risk of mental illnesses like dementia and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). In individual leagues like the National Football League (NFL) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a public injury report is published containing all injured players on a team, their injury and the game-day status of each player.

Equestrian helmet

An equestrian helmet is a form of protective headgear worn when riding horses. This type of helmet is specially designed to protect the rider’s head during falls off a horse, especially from striking a hard object while falling or being accidentally struck in the head by a horse’s hoof.

Headgear (martial arts)

Headgear is padded helmet worn during sparring in the martial arts.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries. Symptoms may include behavioral problems, mood problems, and problems with thinking. Symptoms typically do not begin until years after the injuries. CTE often gets worse over time and can result in dementia. It is unclear if the risk of suicide is altered.

Professionals and amateurs alike wear protective head gear (helmets) to reduce the chance of injury while playing American and Canadian football. The football helmet has changed over time and many different materials have become available. The rules of the game have changed as well.

Second-impact syndrome (SIS) occurs when the brain swells rapidly, and catastrophically, after a person suffers a second concussion before symptoms from an earlier one have subsided. This second blow may occur minutes, days or weeks after an initial concussion, and even the mildest grade of concussion can lead to SIS. The condition is often fatal, and almost everyone who is not killed is severely disabled. The cause of SIS is uncertain, but it is thought that the brain's arterioles lose their ability to regulate their diameter, and therefore lose control over cerebral blood flow, causing massive cerebral edema.

Scrum cap

The scrum cap is a form of headgear used by rugby players to protect the ears in the scrum, which can otherwise suffer injuries leading to the condition commonly known as cauliflower ears. Although originally designed for forwards they are now worn by players of all positions, even those who don't play in the scrum. A prominent back to wear a scrum cap is Leigh Halfpenny who removes his to kick for goal.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

Riddell Revolution helmets are a line of football helmets. The helmet brand is the most popular model in use in the National Football League, used by 83% of the players in the league as of 2008. The most recent model in the Revolution line is the Speedflex helmet. This model can come equipped with Riddell's HITS Technology, which consists of a sensor in the helmet that relays data regarding the severity of each hit to a computer system. The Speedflex also features a built-in hinged panel located on the front near the top. In head-on collisions, this panel gives by up to a quarter of an inch, helping to absorb the impact.

Health issues in youth sports

The health issues of youth sports are concerns regarding the health and wellbeing of young people between the ages of 6 and 18 who participate in an organized sport. Given that these athletes are physically and mentally underdeveloped, they are particularly susceptible to heat illness, eating disorders and injury; sufficiently severe conditions can result in death. Awareness and prevention are key factors in preventing many health issues in youth sports.

Helmet-to-helmet collision

Helmet-to-helmet collisions are occurrences in American and Canadian football when two players' helmets make head-to-head contact with a high degree of force. Intentionally causing a helmet-to-helmet collision is a penalty in most football leagues, including many high school leagues.

Concussions and other types of repetitive play-related head blows in American football have been shown to be the cause of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which has led to player deaths and other debilitating symptoms after retirement, including memory loss, depression, anxiety, headaches, and sleep disturbances.

Concussions, a type of traumatic brain injury, are a frequent concern for those playing sports, from children and teenagers to professional athletes. Repeated concussions are a known cause of various neurological disorders, most notably chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which in professional athletes has led to premature retirement, erratic behavior and even suicide. Because concussions cannot be seen on X-rays or CT scans, attempts to prevent concussions have been difficult.

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) is a non-profit organization operating in the United States, whose mission is to reduce athletic injuries and death through standards and certification for athletic equipment. Schools and universities look to NOCSAE certification of equipment, particularly helmets, to protect players and reduce liability. NOCSAE data indicate a significant reduction in athlete fatalities and brain injuries when using NOCSAE-certified equipment. NOCSAE has been criticized for stifling innovation, holding a conflict of interest, and not furthering true player safety.

A sports-related traumatic brain injury is a serious accident which may lead to significant morbidity or mortality. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in sports are usually a result of physical contact with another person or stationary object, these sports may include boxing, football, field/ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, rugby, soccer, wrestling, auto racing, cycling, equestrian, roller blading, skateboarding, skiing, or snowboarding.

Concussions in Australian sport

Head injuries in sports of any level are the most dangerous and sickening kind of injuries that can occur in sport, and are becoming more common in Australian sport. Concussions are the most common side effect of a head injury and are defined as "temporary unconsciousness or confusion and other symptoms caused by a blow to the head." A concussion also falls under the category of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Especially in contact sports like Australian rules football and Rugby issues with concussions are prevalent, and methods to deal with, prevent and treat concussions are continuously being updated and researched to deal with the issue. Concussions pose a serious threat to the patients’ mental and physical health, as well as their playing career, and can result in lasting brain damage especially if left untreated. The signs that a player may have a concussion are: loss of consciousness or non-responsiveness, balance problems, a dazed, blank or vacant look and/or confusion and unawareness of their surroundings. Of course the signs are relevant only after the player experiences a blow to the head.

Header (association football)

Header is a technique that is used in association football to control the ball using the head to pass, shoot or clear. This can be done by standing, jumping or diving position. Header is a common technique and is used by players in almost every match.

Most documented cases of Chronic traumatic encephalopathy have occurred in athletes involved in contact sports such as boxing, American football, wrestling, ice hockey, rugby and soccer. Other risk factors include being in the military, prior domestic violence, and repeated banging of the head. The exact amount of trauma required for the condition to occur is unknown. Below is a list of notable cases of CTE in sports,


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  4. "NFHS Acknowledges Headgear Standard" [ permanent dead link ][ non-primary source needed ]. Full90 Press Releases. Retrieved on 2008-02-20.
  5. 1 2 Withnall, Shewchenko, Wonnacott, Dvorak (2005). "Effectiveness of Headgear in Football". British Journal of Sports Medicine 39(1), i40-i48.
  6. 1 2 Martin, Hugo. "Should your soccer player be wearing headgear?", "The Providence Journal", August 20, 2006. Accessed February 20, 2008.