chapter  44
Modelling the Impact of Heading: Influence of Inflation Pressure, Contact Mass, Ball Size and Velocity
Pages 3

The popularity of soccer brings increased concern about injuries sustained while playing soccer. Soccer is the only sport in which the head is used to gain control of the ball, score goals, and pass the ball between players (Barnes et al., 1998; Baroff, 1998). Head injuries account for between 10% and 13% of all soccer injuries, with concussions accounting for 20% of the head injuries (Tysvaer, 1992; Baroff, 1998; Green and Jordan, 1998; Collins et al., 1999). There are a few possible causes of head injuries in soccer such as unexpected collisions between players, or between the player and another object such as the goal post, ground, or soccer ball, or repetitively heading the soccer ball that could lead to neurocognitive impairment (Jordan et al., 1996; Baroff, 1998; Matser et al., 1998). Some controversy exists in the literature concerning possible neurocognitive impairment in soccer players. Some studies have reported that repeated heading resulted in a decreased score on memory, planning, and IQ (Intelligence Quotient) tests (Tysvaer, 1992 and Matser et al., 1999) while more recent work reports that repeated soccer heading did not lead to a decrease in neurocognitive test scores (Guskiewicz et al., 2002).