Feb 26, 2020 - Sports

U.K. bans children from heading soccer balls

A Manchester City player heading a ball
A Manchester City player heading a ball in 2019. Photo: Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

British youth soccer players will no longer be allowed to head the ball in practice, according to new safety guidelines for kids ages 11 and under. And even after they leave primary school, headers "will remain a low priority when compared to other technical aspects of the game."

Why it matters: The new guidelines are in direct response to a 2019 study that found former pro soccer players were 3.5 times more likely to die of dementia compared with a control sample, and five times more likely to die of Parkinson's.

Go deeper: The world's wealthiest soccer clubs

Go deeper