Volume 2002, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0253-8253
  • EISSN: 2227-0426


Objective: To define forces of youth soccer ball heading (headers) and determine whether heading causes retinal hemorrhage.

Setting: Regional Children's Hospital, youth soccer camp.

Patients: Male and female soccer players, 13 to 16 years old, who regularly head soccer balls.

Measurements: Dilated retinal examination, after 2-week header diary, and accelerometer measurement of heading a lofted soccer ball.

Results: Twenty-one youth soccer players, averaging 79 headers in the prior 2 weeks, and 3 players who did not submit header diaries lacked retinal hemorrhage. Thirty control subjects also lacked retinal hemorrhage. Seven subjects heading the ball experienced linear cranial accelerations of 3.7±1.3g. Rotational accelerations were negligible.

Conclusions: Headers, not associated with globe impact, are unlikely to cause retinal hemorrhage. Correctly executed headers did not cause significant rotational acceleration of the head, but incorrectly executed headers might.


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  • Article Type: Conference Abstract
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