Select Page



Will Smith’s movie “Concussion” made the public more aware of the dangers of concussions, which could lead to the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. People commonly associate traumatic brain injuries with boxing or football. However, scientists from Northwestern University made headlines when they equated concussions with girl’s soccer.

A study in 2017 uncovered that girls who played soccer were at a higher risk of suffering from a concussion compared to boys playing any sport. Girls were also three times more likely to incur the injury compared to their male soccer counterparts.

Frequency of Play

During a typical football season, boys may play up to 10 games. The same athletes commonly participate in other sports during the rest of the school year. On the other hand, young female soccer players often participate in anywhere from 15 to 20 games. When the season finishes, there are opportunities to play more than 80 games all year long on community teams. In addition to playing actual games, the girls also practice more often. Their continual exposure to being on the field greatly raises the risk of injury.

Heightened Aggression

As youth sport evolve, players are expected to be faster, stronger and more competitive. Girls soccer too is becoming more aggressive. Players make physical contact with teammates and opponents more often. The girls are often surprisingly more aggressive. Despite suffering an injury, female players remain on the field. On the other hand, when male players suffer an injury, they are typically ushered off the field, evaluated and treated much sooner.

Anatomical Differences

Some theorize that the anatomical differences in girls and boys also increase the risks of concussive injury in female players. Compared to boys, girls do not have the same stout neck-muscle development that stabilizes and supports the neck and head. Thus, when girls perform headers with the ball, hit another player or the ground, they are at a greater risk of suffering more serious injuries.

Research published in an article of the “Journal of the American Osteopathic Association” explained that girls playing high school soccer who suffered injuries also required twice the length of time to heal.

More Education

Parents, coaches and referees must become more aware of the dangers involved with girl’s soccer. Along with heightened awareness, girls must learn better body mechanics to use during play to reduce the risk of concussion and other injuries.