First football match with NO heading allowed to take place later this month

First football match with NO heading allowed to take place later this month


EXCLUSIVE: First football match with NO heading allowed will take place between ex-pros this month in pilot scheme to try to assist deal with dementia

  • The first football sport with heading restrictions will take place on September 26
  • The match between former professionals will take place at Spenymoor Town 
  • Dr Willie Stewart led a research which discovered a hyperlink between heading and dementia
  • No headers are allowed outdoors the field within the first-half of the pilot match
  • Heading the ball will likely be banned fully within the second-half of the check sport 


The first grownup football match with heading restrictions will take place later this month as researchers strive to uncover whether or not the sport can perform with out it and cut back the chance of dementia for gamers.

The pilot match involving former professionals will take place at Spennymoor Town’s Brewery Field on Sunday September 26. The first half will see heading solely allowed within the field, and the second half may have no heading allowed in any respect.

Sixty former footballers — together with Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, Kevin Keegan and Sportsmail’s personal Chris Sutton — have supported mind charity Head for Change, who’re organising the match alongside with the Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust.

Many of those legendary names from the Seventies, ’80s and ’90s will likely be invited to attend the sport or play if they’re in a position to.

The fixture would be the first of its variety and follows analysis by Dr Willie Stewart and his University of Glasgow crew, who discovered what they described because the ‘lacking hyperlink’ between repetitive heading and neurodegenerative illness.

The first adult football match with heading restrictions will take place on September 26 at Spennymoor Town FC (above)

The first grownup football match with heading restrictions will take place on September 26 at Spennymoor Town FC (above)

The match between former professionals will see no headers outside the penalty box in the first-half and none at all in the second half

The match between former professionals will see no headers outdoors the penalty field within the first-half and none in any respect within the second half

The research found that defenders, who head the ball essentially the most, have a five-fold threat of creating dementia in contrast to most people. Goalkeepers, who hardly head the ball, haven’t any elevated threat.

The analysis additionally discovered that the longer a participant’s profession lasted — in different phrases, the extra headers they made — the larger the chance of neurodegenerative illness. These findings prompted Dr Stewart to ask football’s authorities to think about whether or not heading was mandatory.

Dr Judith Gates, chair and co-founder of Head for Change, confused that her charity aren’t calling for an outright ban on heading. That is a choice for football’s authorities akin to world governing physique FIFA to make after conducting their very own trials, she says.

But it’s hoped that this fixture will likely be helpful in displaying what the sport seems like and reply key questions akin to how gamers carry the ball down from goal-kicks.

Dr Willie Stewart and his University of Glasgow team found a link between heading and neurodegenerative disease

Dr Willie Stewart and his University of Glasgow crew discovered a hyperlink between heading and neurodegenerative illness

‘Much dialog in footballing circles has centred on making the sport safer,’ Dr Gates advised Sportsmail. ‘The Premier League and different governing our bodies have launched steering which limits high-force headers in coaching. Players, coaches, golf equipment and followers are asking, “What does this imply for the attractive sport?”

‘At all ranges of the sport, gamers and coaches have requested to experiment. In response to these queries, Head for Change agreed that the charity sport at Spennymoor Town would illustrate a few of these points.

‘What occurs to the sport when heading is just allowed within the field? What occurs when the ball can’t be headed? We hope that this experiment will additional the dialogue and that each gamers and supporters may have many concepts to share because of being concerned.’

A foul will be given if a header is made outside the penalty area during the second half

A foul will likely be given if a header is made outdoors the penalty space throughout the second half

Not since April 2003 has a participant scored a header from outdoors the field within the Premier League, when Alan Smith netted for Leeds in opposition to Blackburn Rovers. 

By solely permitting headers contained in the field within the first half of this experiment, forwards will retain the potential of ending crosses, however the variety of headers ought to be dramatically lowered. A foul will likely be given any time a participant heads the ball outdoors the realm.

‘All concerned will likely be a part of an necessary first,’ mentioned Dr Gates. ‘It’s a novel experiment during which discount in heading is showcased as a place to begin for future debate.’

England currently have heading limits on professional players - just 10 are allowed in training

England at present have heading limits on skilled gamers – simply 10 are allowed in coaching

England turned the primary nation to impose heading limits on skilled gamers after they had been restricted to 10 ‘larger power’ headers per week in coaching. That has been put in place for 2021-22 as a response to the dementia disaster.

‘Higher power’ headers are these from a move of greater than 35 metres (38 yards), crosses, corners and free-kicks. 

For amateurs, the FA’s steering is that gamers mustn’t practise greater than 10 headers of any kind per week.

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