Why are Concussions so High in Girl’s Soccer?

(Last Updated On: June 7, 2018)
concussions and girls soccer

Heading the ball produces higher rates of concussions among girls.

Among gender- comparable sports, girl’s soccer produces the highest rate of concussions. research has found. What about football, you ask?

Yes, boy’s football still causes the most concussions in the U.S. by sheer count. A lofty 47% of all sports-related concussions involve football. However, girl’s soccer accounts for second in the number of concussions, at 8.2% in sheer number.

Annually, about 300,000 concussions are caused by sports in the U.S. Among the 15 to 24 year-old age group, only automobile accidents cause more concussions.

Concussions compared by the sport

The data was calculated by researchers from Columbus Ohio’s Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. They sampling athletic trainers from high schools from around the country for the school years of 2008 through 2010. The research covered 20 different sports.

The data found that 1936 concussions occurred from a 7,780,064 possible risk events. This equates to an injury rate of 2.5 concussions per 10,000 possible events. The rate of injury was more than double for competition events, at 6.4 per 10,000.

Behind football and girl’s soccer, boys’ wrestling (5.8%) and girls’ basketball (5.5%) were the third and fourth highest rates by count.

The researchers also compared the proportion of concussions to total injuries among the different sports. Ice hockey had the highest proportion of concussions, at 22% of injuries. This was higher than all the other 19 sports combined, for which 13% of the injuries were concussions.

Weak neck muscles

The researchers and trainers found that weak neck muscles were a likely culprit among many concussions. Because girl’s necks often tend to be less developed than boys, the rate of concussions per incident can be higher.

The preventive recommendation – besides avoiding sports that cause concussions – is to strengthen the neck muscles. Stronger neck muscles can better cushion a blow to the cranium.

Any type of bump or jolt to the head can cause a concussion. Concussions are typically caused when the brain is shaken within the cranium. As the head moves rapidly from the blow, the brain gets injured inside the skull.

Concussion signs include being dazed and stunned, being confused, moving awkwardly or clumsily, slow speech, loss of consciousness, forgetfulness, and any type of mood or behavioral changes.

Concussion symptoms and what to do

Symptoms of a concussion include nausea, headache, vomiting, blurry vision, dizziness, noise or light sensitivity, feeling groggy or sluggish, feeling confused or feeling down. These can occur immediately, or hours and even days after a concussion.

According to concussion experts, a person receiving a head bump should be removed from play immediately and evaluated. The recommendation is: If there is any suspicion of a brain injury, err on the side of caution. And it is suggested that if avoiding a risky sport is not an option, safe headgear should be used in any sport with high concussion risk.

Be careful not to make a habit of getting a concussion. Many professional football players are suffering from brain damage due to multiple concussions. And long term cell phone use is linked to brain cancer.


Marar M, McIlvain NM, Fields SK, Comstock RD. Epidemiology of concussions among United States high school athletes in 20 sports. Am J Sports Med. 2012 Apr;40(4):747-55.

Case Adams, PhD

Case Adams has a Ph.D. in Natural Health Sciences, is a California Naturopath and is Board Certified as an Alternative Medicine Practitioner, with clinical experience and diplomas in Aromatherapy, Bach Flower Remedies, Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling, Homeopathy and Colon Hydrotherapy. He has authored 27 books and numerous articles on print and online magazines. Contact: case@caseadams.com

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