In Soccer – Head Injuries and Protection, C.J. Abraham Ph.D., P.E., FRSC, DEE, JD, accident reconstruction expert witness and Technical Director – ForceField, LLC, writes on soccer injuries:
How many times has a parent or coach of a child playing a contact sport either seen the child/adult get "bonged" or "dinged"? How many times does that experience go unreported?
For decades we have all enjoyed watching athletic teams of all ages, face off and score those points. As participants, they have taken pride in stretching their athletic performances. Whether we block the offense, make a winning pass, or simply run up and down the field, sports will always be a source of pleasure, challenge and fitness.
Unfortunately, contact sports and some recreational sports carry risks for serious head injury. While many people may think that this is obvious, most are not aware that small repetitive brain injuries that can cause long-term damage. There is documentation that continuous sub-concussion level impacts can also result in long term neurological deficits that manifest themselves during the playing time or after the individual is retired from the sport. Soccer is now only second to football in the incidence of concussion in children playing sports. Medical data is mounting on the long term effects on the brain. Literature has indicated that there is a significant risk of permanent brain injury for serious soccer players. Further, there is a high incidence of concussions among youth soccer players.
The American Academy of Pediatrics classifies soccer as a "contact/collision sport". J. Scott Delaney, MD, et al. of McGill University in Canada has published, "Concussions Among University Football and Soccer Players: A Pilot Study (on the Internet) and Head Injuries Presenting to Emergency Departments in the United States From 1990 to 1999 for Ice Hockey, Soccer, and Football" (1). He concluded that the, "rates of head injuries for these (3) sports are comparable not only in elite athletes but also in the athletic community as a whole."