Not buying it.
A study recently published by JAMA Pediatrics concluded that “although heading is the most common activity associated with concussions, the most frequent mechanism was athlete-athlete contact. Such information is needed to drive evidence-based, targeted prevention efforts to effectively reduce soccer-related concussions. Although banning heading from youth soccer would likely prevent some concussions, reducing athlete-athlete contact across all phases of play would likely be a more effective way to prevent concussions as well as other injuries.”
Contact is part of the game in soccer, and much of it is anticipated. You don’t have to have a PhD to know that its the unanticipated contact in sports that leads to the most significant head injuries — the wide receiver blind-sided on a crossing route, the basketball player who doesn’t see the hard pick, OR the soccer players that bang heads in mid-air in an attempt to head the ball.
This isn’t the time to ban all headers in soccer, but perhaps restrict their use in practice and in youth soccer. Soccer already has a mechanism for dealing with excessive “”athlete-athlete contact.” The simple growing awareness of the risk of concussion will color how referees call the game. Leave it alone.
The bigger issue is recognizing concussion and following conservative return-to-play protocol.