Helmets, Part 6

Discussion in 'Referee' started by Claymore, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Claymore

    Claymore Member

    Jul 9, 2000
    Montgomery Vlg, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  2. NJ Ref

    NJ Ref New Member

    Jan 28, 2005
    Central New Jersey
    The article isn’t clear, but are these helmets like football (hard plastic), or helmets such as the Full 90?

    I would think if players wore hard plastic helmets there would be more injuries. With this lump of plastic protecting the head, players would more likely lead with the head during challenges.
     
  3. USSF REF

    USSF REF Member

    Red Bull NY
    United States
    Nov 6, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  4. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't live in Mass. anymore, and haven't worked at the Mass. legislature for a few years, so no.

    As it is, this will take care of itself. Just another case of a state representative who either wants to some publicity, thinks gov't can solve everything, or both. With a full-time professional legislature, you often get things like this coming up. Ultimately, I doubt it will ever get reported out of committee favorably and I don't think it will ever to the floor of either chamber, nevermind enacted into law. Some negative pressure on legislators from referees and other people in soccer that live in Mass. can't hurt, but I really don't think there's anything to worry about.
     
  5. refontherun

    refontherun Member+

    Jul 14, 2005
    Georgia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I like the scientific language they use in this article:

    ''There's pretty good evidence that growing brains are more susceptible to injury,"

    A 1992 Norwegian study found that 35 percent of active soccer players in that country had abnormal brain scans, and another study in that country of retired professional players found a third of them had brain atrophy, or a shrinking of brain tissue that results in behavioral and cognitive problems. The study concluded that the damage probably was a result of repeated heading.

    Can't argue with such "conclusive" evidence. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Gary V

    Gary V Member+

    Feb 4, 2003
    SE Mich.
    As I asked on SocRef-L:

    Is there some reason in MA that players cannot voluntarily wear head protection? Or that leagues cannot take it upon themselves to require it?

    Is there a state law mandating batting helmets, football pads, hockey face masks, etc? Why single out soccer?
     
  7. blind_clown

    blind_clown New Member

    Aug 4, 2005
    Under the bleachers
    IDEA-Law Changes:
    Law 1: The field will be divided into squares/rectangles of two colors (like a chess board). Each team will have it's own color. Each player will have their own box.

    Law 2: The ball shall be made of foam.

    Law 4: Players must wear armored suits like stormtroopers on Star Wars (actual protection, not costumes).

    Law 8: The team winning the coin toss will get choice of side or color. The team losing it will get ball and the other choice.

    Law 12: Entering someone else's box must be sanctioned as serious foul play. Playing a ball in motion or failing to move out of the way of a ball in motion must be sanctioned as playing in a dangerous manner.
     
  8. refontherun

    refontherun Member+

    Jul 14, 2005
    Georgia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The statement that gets me is the one about 2 to 3 percent of injuries in soccer are head injuries (the same as football where they do wear helmets).

    I'm sure that the numbers are about the same for any physical activity.

    My next question has already been mentioned. That is, where are these helmets going to come from? Who is going to design, manufacture and market these pieces of hardware?

    I would also suspect that, with the helmets, we are going to see a rise in the number of neck injuries.
     
  9. Claymore

    Claymore Member

    Jul 9, 2000
    Montgomery Vlg, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    To my knowledge, the only people actually pushing this are the manufacturers of Full90. Have you seen their commercial on FSW?

    Basically, they're creating a problem where none really exists, and scaring parents into buying their product.
     
  10. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

    Mar 17, 2004
    Club:
    --other--
    Good to see that Massachusetts has solved all the other problems in the state. After all that hard work, this issue should be an easy one for such intellegent, and insightful legislators.
     
  11. refontherun

    refontherun Member+

    Jul 14, 2005
    Georgia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm familiar with the Full90 aperatus. I have seen it worn in several games I have officiated, but the article implies something more in line with a hockey helmet. Hard plastic or something similar.

    From what I've seen, the Full90 would be useful as protection from head to head challenges and the like, but, IMHO, the inertia from a header, not the impact itself, is still going to have the same affect on the brain whether a player is wearing it or not. Youth players 14 and below don't head the ball that much anyway. Especially the girls.
     
  12. hornetbiz

    hornetbiz Member

    Oct 3, 2005
    Boston, MA
    As a high school soccer coach here in MA this has me worried folks...

    In 1998 (I believe) our governing body, the MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association), made mouthpieces required equipment for soccer. This decision was made based on very unscientific, anecdotal evidence. The mouthpiece rule has been a nuisance at the least and a hindrance on play at the worst. I have had kids literally vomit on the field because they gag on their mouthpiece and communication between teammates becomes very difficult even with the mouthguards that are molded specifically for the player.

    While I agree with other previous posts that basically say the legislation will stall and probably die I am very concerned that the MIAA and its medical committee will decide helmets are a great idea. This is the same medical committee that a couple years ago decided, on limited anecdotal evidence, that metal bats pose a safety risk in baseball and banned them. That lasted a very short time until the Baseball Coaches Association presented piles of scientific research that shows that the exit speed off of the "sweet spot" of a metal bat is exactly the same as the exit speed off of the "sweet spot" of a wood bat. Unfortunately the Soccer Coaches Assn. is far less organized and therefore much less powerful than the Mass BCA.

    I have already started looking into pricing for helmets for next season.
     
  13. Law5

    Law5 Member+

    Mar 24, 2005
    Beaverton OR
    About 15 years ago, a goalkeeper around here had a serious head injury. His local community, both the soccer club and the two high schools in that area, decided that goalkeepers would now have to wear a helmet while playing. This was the sort of thing that NFHS talks about in its length description of goalkeeper headwear. "...closed-cell, slow-recovery rubber or other similar material that stays soft in its final form...secured by a chin strap." They were white and fairly rectangular in shape. Also very hot. :( After two years, they were no longer required at either the club or high school level. :cool:

    I think that the danger from a single incident is way overblown. Life is dangerous and padding everything in sight is absurd. I speak as the father of a daughter who suffered a very serious head trauma 7 years ago (in track, of all things), whose head hurts 24/7 to this day. However, I also think that soccer is whistling past the graveyard when it comes to the effects of cumulative trauma from heading by players of all ages. Your brain is smashing up against the inside of your cranium when you head the ball. It is not as severe as a concussion, but the cumulative banging at even a lower level is likely to have an effect. However, I do not have a solution.
     
  14. ref47

    ref47 Member

    Aug 13, 2004
    n. va
    law 12
    a dfk is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following five offenses:
    ...
    heads the ball deliberately


    if there is sufficient scientific evidence of a danger, tradition may need to be ignored and law 12 amended. like the old joke goes, "doc, it hurts when i do this." doc's reply, "don't do it."
     
  15. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No and No.


    C'm'on, now. The mouthpiece rule has been very helpful in preventing players from being sent off for foul or abusive language because the referee cannot understand what invective the player just used. :)
     
  16. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In a local town one spring a teenage player rang her bell really good on the goal post one Saturday. I showed up the following weekend to find the goal posts wrapped in carpet pad material and "secured" with one-inch diameter yellow nylon rope. I had them remove it before the game. There was at least one yahoo that threatened a law suit if his precious darling got injured. :(
     
  17. blind_clown

    blind_clown New Member

    Aug 4, 2005
    Under the bleachers
    Did you provoke him by reminding him he can't sue the ref?
     
  18. hornetbiz

    hornetbiz Member

    Oct 3, 2005
    Boston, MA

    That's true!!! Maybe I'll start wearing one on the sideline next fall...then I can offer my $.02. :)

    But seriously NSA you know how the MIAA is...we could be wearing helmets with face masks and shoulder pads by next fall if someone on the medical committee thinks it's a good idea. The MIAA loves to act unilaterally without all the facts and before actually discussing the ramifications with people who actually know the sport.
     
  19. Doug the Ref

    Doug the Ref Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    St. Louis
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I understand daddy's concern for his little girl, but if he is soooo concerned, why wait to have the girl get hurt and THEN sue?? The player, coach and the parent have the ability to decide not to participate prior to the start of the match because the field, goal posts, ball, opponent, etc. are not safe.
     
  20. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Provoke? Me?!? ;)
     
  21. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Berkshire
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I read somewhere that's not actually true, and it's collisions rather than heading that causes damage. the reason/theory being that because brain and skull are moving in the same direction you don't get any jarring due the momentum being equal.

    If it was so dangerous then you'd see loads of "punch-drunk" ex-footballers. Other than Jeff Astle (who was still otherwise completely normal up until his death) I struggle to think of any footballers who've died or been seriously ill with brain problems - not even among those who player with the "heavy" old ball.
     
  22. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How many coaches have little tykes heading the ball? I hope none. The spinal cord and brain support mechanism is still developing. There are random, accidental headers up through U8. By U10 the game is chest high with a few more opportunities for headers. At this point players should begin practicing headers with tossed, not kicked, soccer balls. By U14 a player should be able to competently and safely head a ball on a regular basis.

    [sarcasm mode]
    Should we ban chest traps? A player I knew developed a crushed sternum from repeatedly practicing chest traps during double-sessions for high school.
    [/sarcasm mode]
     
  23. But Referee

    But Referee New Member

    Jun 16, 2003

    easy huh?....from the people who elected Mike Dukakis, John Kerry AND Ed Kennedy? The same state where one brother ran the senate while one ran the mob and is still on the FBI 10 most wanted list?....LOL
     
  24. jacathcart

    jacathcart New Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    Tacoma WA
    I have a client whose business is the middleman for bike helmets. They are ALL made in china. The difference between the ones that sell for $20 or are given away by the fire department and those which sell for $50-$80 bucks? the cheap ones wholesale for $4 a piece - the expensive ones are $5.

    In other words, don't expect the helmets to be the end result of highly technical, well researched, extensively tested manufacture. Someone will make a mold and start shoving the things out.

    Jim
     
  25. VOwithwater

    VOwithwater New Member

    Oct 17, 2005

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