English Football Introduces New Heading Limit Amidst Long-Term Head Injury Concerns

The announcement follows a series of studies looking into links between heading and dementia.

Sports
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English football has introduced a new heading rule for the upcoming 2021/22 season that will see players limited to 10 “higher-force” headers in training per week.

The announcement — that will be implemented across all professional levels of football in the U.K. — comes after a series of studies found that repeated heading could lead to dementia and other long-term diseases, while a 2018 study by the University of British Columbia found that blood levels of proteins associated with damage to nerve cells increase after heading the ball.

The new rules, delivered in a joint statement from the Football Association, Premier League, English Football League, Professional Footballers’ Association and League Managers’ Association, advises that “a maximum of 10 higher-force headers are carried out in any training week. These are typically headers following a long pass (more than 35 metres) or from crosses, corners and free-kicks”.

The statement also said that “the majority of headers involve low forces”, although the announcement will likely require clubs to heavily alter training routines for the coming season.

In other news, Yuto Horigome has won gold in the first-ever street skateboarding Olympics event.

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