Children under the age of 12 years have been banned from heading the football in training in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
The ban has been implemented after research from the University of Edinburgh showed a possible link between football players and head trauma.
In October 2019, a team of researchers at the University of Edinburgh investigated the potential link between professional football players and brain diseases. The report concluded that professional football players are approximately 3 times more likely to develop a neurodegenerative disease than a member of the general public.
After the report, there have been concerns that children heading footballs from a young age could cause head trauma, possibly leading to a neurodegenerative disease later on in life. In the US, a ban that restricts children from heading footballs has already been in place since 2015.
The ban was encouraged by the family of late former West Brom Albion striker, Jeff Astle, who passed away in 2002. The coroner ruled that the cause of his death was linked to a CTE-related disease, caused by repeated head trauma. Since his passing, the Jeff Astle Foundation has been created to spread awareness of brain injuries in sports.
A way to effectively prevent head trauma is to start introducing lighter footballs for younger children, something that Lionstrike has been advocating since 2016.
Lionstrike footballs are a safer alternative for children as all of our footballs are 25% lighter than standard footballs. The fact that they are lighter will reduce the impact on a child's skull, preventing head trauma from a young age. Our unique footballs are also made from high-quality PU leather, coupled with a 3.5mm foam layer. These materials result in a much softer feel than traditional leathers used to make footballs.
Lionstrike footballs are the perfect solution to keep children safe and allow them to further their football development. With Lionstrike footballs, heading can be practiced with less force and impact than regular footballs, thereby delivering a safer playing environment for children by using the right equipment.