Heading in Football: insights from stakeholders in amateur football

Publication Name

Science and Medicine in Football


Despite emerging research questioning the long-term effect of purposeful heading on players’ brain health, heading-related perspectives and behaviours of stakeholders in amateur football in Australia (a country without heading guidelines) remain unknown. This study aimed to explore the current heading-related perspectives and behaviours of football stakeholders. In total, 290 players (aged over 11 years), 54 coaches, 34 non-coaching staff and 14 medical staff completed the survey. Of the 290 players, 56.5% reported being formally trained in heading, with female players less likely to be trained than male players (p < 0.05). Players were the least concerned about the long-term effects of heading, while medical staff were the most concerned (33.1% and 57.1%, respectively). From proposed strategies to reduce heading burden, a heading ban for all ages was least popular (2.3%), while teaching heading technique was most popular (67.3%). Our study provides insights into football stakeholders’ heading-related perspectives, which could be used, along with scientific evidence, to inform pragmatic future heading guidelines.

Open Access Status

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Link to publisher version (DOI)