The most popular youth sport in America needs to make serious changes immediately, according to a recent lawsuit brought against the U.S. Soccer Federation, FIFA and other organizations.
The suit seeks an injunction that would prevent soccer players younger than 14 from heading the ball. Recent studies have made a startling link between brain damage and striking a soccer ball with one’s head. The effects are more severe for younger players whose brain is still developing.
Rather than seeking money damages, the growing class of plaintiffs is seeking rule changes and a monitoring program that provides free concussion testing to youth soccer players.
Soccer is not the only sport that is responsible for brain injuries. Football and hockey have recently been targeted by children’s health advocates for failing to prevent and monitor concussions.
Soccer is a bit different, however, as players are intentionally coaches to strike the ball with their head. In a sport where the ball has supposedly travelled more than 130 mph at the pro level, you can understand why there is concern.
Competitiveness can be quite healthy for youth athletes, but brain safety should always be of paramount importance.
If you or your child has been concussed due to the negligence of a coach or athletic program, speak with an experienced New York injury attorney about your legal options.
Source: NY Daily News, “FIFA Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit By Parents And Players Over Soccer’s Handling Of Concussions,” Nathaniel Vinton, Aug. 27, 2014