Soccer was once thought to be a safer alternative to other sports like football or lacrosse, but a new study reveals that the rate of concussions sustained by girls playing the game in high school is spiking nationwide — with more than 1.5-million youth players in the U.S. The American Academy of Pediatricians found emergency room visits for concussions to female soccer players rose nearly 1,600 percent from 1990 to 2014.
One reason why girls may be more prone to injury is neck strength. The game is also way more aggressive. Another study found that in the last 10 years, 51 percent of concussions were caused by player on player contact, compared to 29 percent from contact with a ball — especially headers. Over the last four years the U.S. Soccer Federation has instituted protocols that include concussion training for parents coaches and players. Other major changes include; no heading the ball in games until the age of 13, with some experts saying female players should be required to wear head gear and that should be rigid rule enforcement against physical play.