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New Insights on Concussions in Soccer Parents Should Know

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1 ) Concussion Rates in Soccer

There have been a number of credible studies indicating the rate of concussions in soccer per 10,000 AEs.* Here are the 2 most recent:

2015 - http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2375128

HS Boys - 2.8/10,000 AEs HS Girls - 4.5/10,000 AEs

2014 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24446018

Middle School Girls - 12/10,000 AEs

*An athletic exposure (AE) is equal to one player participating in one training session or game.

2) Younger players require more time to recover from a concussion than olderplayers

(Field, Collins et al., “Does Age Play a Role in Recovery from Sports-Related Concussion?

A Comparison of High School and Collegiate Athletes,” Jurnal of Pediatrics (2003), 142(5):546-53)

3) Girls are more likely to be concussed thanboys

(Fuller, Junge et al., “A Six Year Prospective Study of the Incidence and Causes of Head and Neck Injuries in International Football,” British Journal of Sports Medicine (2005), 39(supp1):i3-i8)

4) Most concussions in soccer are not caused by heading the ball; 70% are from normal run ofplay

A JAMA Pediatrics article entitled, “An Evidence-Based Discussion of Heading the Ball and Concussions in High School Soccer,” available at this link: (http:http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2375128, concluded that 25-30% of concussions occur from heading the ball. The other 70%-75% of concussions are caused by head to head, elbow to head, head to ground, head to post and other impacts to the head. “The most frequent mechanism (causing a concussion) was athlete-to-athlete contact.”

The Sports Legacy Institute, in conjunction with Parents and Pros for Safer Soccer also found that approximately 30% of concussions that occur on the soccer field are related to heading the ball.

5) Concussion Among Female Middle School Soccer Players (2014Study)

According to the 2014 JAMA Pediatrics article, (2014 Mar;168(3):258-64. doi: 10.1001/jamapediat- rics.2013.4518, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24446018), it concluded: “Concussion rates in young female soccer players are greater than those reported in older age groups, and most of those concussed report playing with symptoms.

6) In a peer-reviewed study, 62.7% of college-level soccer players had concussion symptoms in a single year

(Delaney, Lacroix et al., “Concussions Among University Football and Soccer Players,” Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine (2002), 12(6):331-38)

7) Additional Facts Pulled from Existing Studies by ThirdParty

In a recently published journal of ‘Brain Injury’, Dr. Tom Schweizer, Director of the Neuroscience Research Program at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, examined how often concussions occur in soccer:

  • One studyrevealedthat nearly63 percent ofvarsitysoccerplayers had symptoms ofa concussion at some point, but onlyabout 19 percent knewit.
  • In another study, nearly 82 percent of players who had at least one concussion had two or more of these headinjuries.
  • The researchfoundthatthosewho suffered one concussion had a 3.15times greaterchance ofhaving anotheronethan playerswho neverhadthistype ofinjury.
  • Aseparate studyalso revealedthat soccer-related concussions accountedfor15 percent ofall sports concussions. Girls' soccerwas second onlytofootballforsports-related concussions per10,000AEs , accountingfor8.2 percent ofthese head injuries,the studyfound.

8) 2015 - Internal Field Study, UnequalHalo ™**

Unequal reduces concussion risk. In the fall of 2015 Unequal gathered season-long data from 61 teams to assess the benefits of the Halo on the pitch.


  • 4 women’s college teams, 57 youthteams.
  • Youth teams were made up of 23 boys and 34 girls teams ranging from U-10 toU-18.
  • Players wore the 6mmHalo.
  • Coaches and/ortrainers ofeachteam reportedweeklythe numberofAEs ofplayerswearingthe Unequal Halo.*
  • There were 20,867 AEs. (Boys - 7,625 AEs; Girls - 13,242AEs)
  • Any incident that was potentially a concussion was evaluated and confirmed by a medical professional before beingreported.
  • This was a limited study among just these teams for this seasononly.

Concussion Rate: Boys: 0 concussions: 0.0/10,000 AEs

Girls: 2 concussions: 1.6/10,000 AEs

Regardless of any broad study to which these Unequal Halo numbers are compared, where no head protection was worn (see item #1), the results are significant. For girls, looking at just the two studies in Section (1), the drop is anywhere from 64% to 87%... HALO protection vs. NO protection.

*An athletic exposure (AE) is equal to one player participating in one training session or game.

**Disclaimer: Any player in any sport can sustain a head injury with even the very best head protection. Unequal cannot prevent concussions or eliminate the risk of serious head or neck injuries.

See full product warning and disclaimer at unequal.com

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