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Youth Sports Politics: One Mom's Fight to Make A Travel Soccer Program More Inclusive

Several years ago, I started a travel soccer club after our triplet sons, who had been on an undefeated U 12 (under 12) travel soccer team in the Massachusetts town where we live, were not offered the chance to continue playing travel soccer that fall when they moved up to U-14. My immediate goal was to give them, and about sixty other kids who were also cut from the existing program, a chance to keep playing travel soccer.

Soccer Safety: Watch Out For Those Laces!

Believe it or not, a soccer player's shoelaces can pose a risk of injury. Patrick Kelleher, President of the Adirondack Youth Soccer Association in upstate New York, once saw a soccer shoe come off a player's foot during a scramble for the ball. Because the laces were tied around the player's ankle, when he stepped on the shoe he suffered a career ending severed Achilles tendon. "Tying laces around ankles is a very dangerous practice," Kelleher says. Long laces should instead be wrapped under the center of the shoe between the toe and heel section of rubber cleats.

Youth Soccer Safety: Shin Guards Essential

Soccer shinguards that meet the NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) are essential soccer safety equipment.

Soccer Goals Need To Be Anchored

There are between 450,000 and 600,000 soccer goals in the United States. Many are unsafe because they are unstable and either unanchored or not correctly anchored or counterbalanced.

Protective Padding of Soccer Goalposts: Reduces Injury Number And Severity

Chances are, if you have watched more than a few youth soccer games, you have seen a player injured in a collision with the goalpost. In fact, goalies suffer a disproportionate number of injuries compared to those playing other positions. The American Journal of Sports Medicine reported in 1995 that, even though goalies comprise only six percent of soccer players, they suffer nineteen percent of all soccer injuries. When a player collides with the post of a heavy, stationary goal post, the player absorbs all of the impact of the collision.

Replacing Athletic Shoes Depends On Child's Growth, Shoe Wear

Cindy Trames, Director of US footwear for Nike, says that replacing shoes and deciding whether they can be handed down to another child, depends on the child's growth rate and the amount of shoe wear.

Youth Soccer: Popular But Experiencing Growing Pains

Soccer was the only sport that actually grew in total participation during the 1990s, enjoying its greatest growth in high schools and community leagues according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA).

Soccer Goalposts Can Be Deadly Hazard

The April 22, 2003 death of a twelve-year old California boy after a heavy iron soccer goal at his San Jose middle school fell, striking his head and pinning him to the ground, was the second such death in a six month span.

Florida Tech Studies Raise Concern About Soccer Heading

Two 2003 studies suggest that heading in soccer may result in weaker mental performance, including a decline in cognitive function, difficulty in verbal learning, planning and maintaining attention and reduced information processing speed, but a critical review of the literature in 2010 by an expert panel of the American Academy of Pediatrics found no support for such a finding, and a 2012 study in the journal Neurosurgery concluded that it was "unlikely" that the subtle cognitive differences detected were sufficient to affect the daily lives of players.

Study Finds Youth Soccer Relatively Safe Sport

A first-of-its-kind national study of youth soccer injuries recently found that soccer is a relatively safe sport, but that the frequency and type of injuries varied by gender, with boys injured more frequently than girls but suffering fewer ankle and knee injuries.

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