A football player or footballer is a sport person who plays one of the different types of football. The main types of football are association football, American football, Canadian football, Australian rules football, Gaelic football, rugby league and rugby union.
It has been estimated that there are 250 million association football players in the world,and many play the other forms of football.
Jean-Pierre Papin has described football as a "universal language".Footballers across the world and at almost any level may regularly attract large crowds of spectators, and players are the focal points of widespread social phenomena such as association football culture.
Footballers generally begin as amateurs and the best players progress to become professional players. Normally they start at a youth team (any local team) and from there, based on skill and talent, scouts offer contracts. Once signed, some learn to play better football and a few advance to the senior or professional teams.
Wages in some top men's leagues are significantly higher than other jobs. Players in the Premier League earn average wages of about $1 million per year.In the wealthiest clubs in European football leagues, some players earn an average wage up to $6 to $8 million per year. The best players of those clubs can earn up to $70 million per year.
However, only a fraction of men's professional football players are paid at this level. Wages may be much more moderate in other divisions and leagues, and a significant number[ clarification needed ] of players are semi-professional. For example, the average annual salary for footballers in Major League Soccer (which started in 2009) for the 2013 season was $148,693, with significant variations depending on player position (goalkeepers for example earned $85,296, whereas forwards earned $251,805 ).
Popularity and average salaries in women's leagues are far lower. For example, players in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) (which started in 2012) earn $15,000 to $40,000 per year as of January 2017.
A minority of retired footballers continue working full-time within football, for instance as football managers. A 1979 study reported that former first-team ballplayers were over-represented as top ranking executives in their companies and had greater income mobility than second teamers and reserves.However, some experience chronic health issues, see below.
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Research shows that association football players that take less than 200ms after the referee blows their whistle for a penalty kick are significantly more likely to miss scoring than those that take over a second.
An Irish 2002 study of association and Gaelic football players characterised players as "lean and muscular with a reasonably high level of capacity in all areas of physical performance".The opposite is the case for American football, where obesity could be the cause of grave health problems.
A 2000 study documented injuries sustained by Czech [association] football players at all levels:
Trauma was the cause of 81.5% of the injuries and overuse was the cause of 18.5%. Joint sprains predominated (30%), followed by fractures (16%), muscle strains (15%), ligament ruptures (12%), meniscal tears and contusions (8%), and other injuries. Injuries to the knee were most prevalent (29%), followed by injuries to the ankle (19%) and spine (9%). More injuries occurred during games (59%) than in practice.
Patellar tendinitis (knee pain) is considered an overused injury that also happens to other athletes of virtually every sport. It is a common problem that football players develop and can usually be treated by a quadriceps strengthening program. Jumping activities place particularly high strains on the tendon and with repetitive jumping, tearing and injury of the tendon can occur. The chronic injury and healing response results in inflammation and localized pain.
Although levels of depression and pain in retired football players are on par with the societal average,some players suffer from post-retirement chronic injuries. Head injuries are a particular concern.
The average life expectancy or lifespan of an American football NFL player has been reported to be extremely low, only 53 to 59 years depending on playing position.However, a 2012 study reported that retired NFL players have a lower death rate than men in the general population. An oft-cited life expectancy of 58 years has been claimed by Sports Illustrated to be based on a myth. According to a 2007 study, which also claims that little supporting data is available, retired American football players had "long and fulfilling careers with no apparent long-term detrimental effects on physical or mental health scores despite a high prevalence of arthritis". One explanation is that "life expectancy" is ambiguous: it may in some contexts refer to the expected age of death of a player, and in other contexts to the expected remaining number of life years.
As for association football, a 2011 German study found that German national team players live 1.9 years less than the general male population.
Football players participating in international matches for Germany have reduced longevity compared to the general population. This disadvantage was the larger, the earlier the international football player started his international career. This finding is in line with the current knowledge of life expectancy in major athletes, especially those from other team sports
A 1983 study of rugby players found that the life expectancy of All Blacks is the same as for the general population.
American football players are prone to head injuries such as concussions. In later life, this increases the risk of dementiaand Alzheimer's. Professional American football players self-reporting concussions are at greater risk for having depressive episodes later in life compared with those retired players self-reporting no concussions.
Probably due to the repeated trauma associated with heading balls, professional association football has been suggested to increase the incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.In a 1987 study of former Norwegian association football national team players, one third of the players were found to have central cerebral atrophy, i.e. brain damage. A 1999 study connected soccer to chronic traumatic head injury (CTHI):
[P]articipation in amateur association football in general and concussion specifically is associated with impaired performance in memory and planning functions. Due to the worldwide popularity of soccer, these observations may have important public health implications
Anterior cruciate ligaments are particularly vulnerable in most types of football due to injuries that can be sustained during tackles.
An increased incidence of osteoarthritis in the hip joint has been found in retired football players.
A 2012 study of association football injuries found that 19% of all injuries were muscle injuries, of which 54% affected the thigh muscles.
In a 2009 study, association football was found to be associated with favourable sleep patterns and psychological functioning in adolescent male football players.
The rate of suicide among NFL vets has been found to be 59% lower than in the general population.
In 2012, FIFA released a paper intended to identify key risk factors for association football players.
Netball is a ball sport played by two teams of seven players. Netball is most popular in many Commonwealth nations, specifically in schools, and is predominantly played by women. According to the INF, netball is played by more than 20 million people in more than 80 countries. Major domestic leagues in the sport include the Netball Superleague in Great Britain, Suncorp Super Netball in Australia and the ANZ Premiership in New Zealand. Four major competitions take place internationally: the quadrennial World Netball Championships, the Commonwealth Games, and the yearly Quad Series and Fast5 Series. In 1995, netball became an International Olympic Committee recognised sport, but it has not been played at the Olympics.
Concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), is typically defined as a head injury that temporarily affects brain functioning. Symptoms may include loss of consciousness (LOC); memory loss; headaches; difficulty with thinking, concentration or balance; nausea; blurred vision; sleep disturbances; and mood changes. Any of these symptoms may begin immediately, or appear days after the injury. It is not unusual for symptoms to last 2 weeks in adults and 4 weeks in children. Fewer than 10% of sports-related concussions among children are associated with loss of consciousness.
Locus of control is the degree to which people believe that they, as opposed to external forces, have control over the outcome of events in their lives. The concept was developed by Julian B. Rotter in 1954, and has since become an aspect of personality studies. A person's "locus" is conceptualized as internal or external.
The football helmet is a piece of protective equipment used mainly in gridiron 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 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.
Alan Schwarz is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and author, formerly at The New York Times, best known for writing more than 100 articles that exposed the seriousness of concussions in sports and brought the issue to worldwide attention. His investigative and profile pieces are generally credited with revolutionizing the respect and protocol for head injuries in youth and professional athletics. Schwarz's work was profiled in The New Yorker and several films, including the Will Smith movie "Concussion" and the documentaries "Head Games" and PBS Frontline's "League of Denial". The Columbia Journalism Review featured him on the cover of its 2011 Art of Great Reporting issue and wrote of his concussion work, "He put the issue on the agenda of lawmakers, sports leagues, and the media at large — and helped create a new debate about risk and responsibility in sports." The series and its impact were described by Hall of Fame sports writer Murray Chass as "the most remarkable feat in sports journalism history."
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries. Symptoms do not typically begin until years after the injuries and can include behavioral problems, mood problems, and problems with thinking. The disease often gets worse over time and can result in dementia. It is unclear if the risk of suicide is altered.
Fred Willis is a retired American football running back who played six seasons in the National Football League for the Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Oilers.
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.
The fencing response is a peculiar position of the arms following a concussion. Immediately after moderate forces have been applied to the brainstem, the forearms are held flexed or extended for a period lasting up to several seconds after the impact. The fencing response is often observed during athletic competition involving contact, such as American football, hockey, rugby union, rugby league, Australian rules football and combat sports. It is used as an overt indicator of injury force magnitude and midbrain localization to aid in injury identification and classification for events including on-field and/or bystander observations of sports-related head injuries.
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.
Health issues of athletics concern the health and well-being of athletes who participate in an organized sport. If athletes are physically and mentally underdeveloped, they are susceptible to mental or physical problems. Athletes trying to improve their performance in sports can harm themselves by overtraining, adopting eating habits that damage them physically or psychologically, and using steroids or supplements.
Prevention of mild traumatic brain injury involves taking general measures to prevent traumatic brain injury, such as wearing seat belts and using airbags in cars. Older people are encouraged to try to prevent falls, for example by keeping floors free of clutter and wearing thin, flat, shoes with hard soles that do not interfere with balance.
Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu is a Nigerian American physician, forensic pathologist, and neuropathologist who was the first to discover and publish findings of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players while working at the Allegheny County coroner's office in Pittsburgh. He later became the chief medical examiner for San Joaquin County, California, and is a professor at the University of California, Davis, department of medical pathology and laboratory medicine.
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. In the context of sports-related concussions (SRC), an SRC is currently defined as a "complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces". Because concussions cannot be seen on X-rays or CT scans, attempts to prevent concussions have been difficult.
A catastrophic injury is a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, or brain, and may also include skull or spinal fractures. This is a subset of the definition for the legal term catastrophic injury, which is based on the definition used by the American Medical Association.
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, gridiron football, field/ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, rugby, soccer, wrestling, auto racing, cycling, equestrian, roller blading, skateboarding, skiing, or snowboarding.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a blow, jolt or penetration to the head that disrupts the function of the brain. Most TBIs are caused by falls, jumps, motor vehicle traffic crashes, being struck by a person or a blunt object, and assault. Student-athletes may be put at risk in school sports, creating concern about concussions and brain injury. A concussion can be caused by
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.