Research proposals wanted into heading risk in young players

UEFA is inviting research proposals to study the risk of heading the ball among youth players in European football, with an application deadline of next month.

©UEFA

UEFA is seeking research proposals to study the risk of heading the ball among youth players in European football.

Although there have been several studies in recent years looking at various aspects of the effects of heading, there is currently a lack of data on the number of times young footballers head the ball in both practice and match situations, and a lack of data on the effects of heading in youth players. This makes it hard to assess the true risk of playing football in this section of the population.

The objectives of the research study are, firstly, to determine the burden of headers in youth football across European football, in both training and match situations, and in different age and gender categories, and secondly to determine whether heading has any effect on the structure and function of youth players' brains.

The UEFA Medical Committee, with input from independent experts, will review the viability and validity of all proposals and make the selection. Marc Vouillamoz, UEFA's head of medical and anti-doping, said: "One of UEFA's core values is the protection of young players and we have a sporting and a moral responsibility to protect the health and well-being of those who play the game. So it is of utmost importance that we thoroughly investigate whether there are any potential risks associated with heading the ball."

The closing date for submission is 30 June 2017.

Please download the Request for Research Proposal document here (terms and conditions can be found here).

Proposals and any questions regarding the study or the process should be sent to medical@uefa.ch.