Saturday, March 05, 2016

Brandi Chastain on "heading"

From the NY Times story:

C.T.E.[chronic traumatic encephalopathy], believed to be caused by blows to the head, is a hot topic in sports like boxing and football. But C.T.E. has also been found in several male soccer players, and researchers believe that heading the ball is a primary culprit.

No female athletes have been found to have had C.T.E. — it has been found in the brains of women with histories of head trauma — but the sample size has been small. Researchers at Boston University have examined 307 brains, most of which belonged to athletes. Only seven of them were women’s.

But with soccer’s worldwide popularity and its growth among girls inspired by the likes of the United States’ women’s national team, researchers are eager to learn more. For now, C.T.E. can be reliably diagnosed only through a brain examination after death.

Chastain is the second national team member to decide to donate her brain, after Cindy Parlow Cone. Both women, and several others from the 1999 team, have argued against heading in youth soccer. In November, U.S. Soccer announced stricter standards for players under 14, although Chastain and others believe that they did not go far enough...

Rob's comment: Parents should also be concerned about the synthetic turf on the city's soccer fields.

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