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Lawsuit seeks to change soccer rules following concussion fears

Lawsuit against soccer associations could bring major changes to game

While the risk of concussions in high-impact sports like football and hockey has gained a lot of press in recent years, the risk of such traumatic head injuries in soccer has largely been ignored in comparison. Now a lawsuit filed by a group of parents is bringing light to the risk of head injuries during soccer games, especially for young players, according to Time. The lawsuit is not seeking monetary compensation, but is instead trying to get soccer's major national and international organizations to change the rules of the game to improve player safety.

Risk is overlooked by parents

According to a recent poll, nearly half of all parents said they were concerned about the risk of concussions in sports such as football, hockey, and wrestling, reports the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. However, most parents said they were comfortable with their children playing in soccer.

As the recent lawsuit filed on behalf of a number of soccer parents points out, however, after football and hockey, soccer has the highest risk of concussion of any sport. In 2010, for example, 50,000 children and teenagers suffered concussions during high school soccer. That figure is well above the number of concussions suffered in high school wrestling.

Rule changes proposed

The lawsuit seeks to increase the number of temporary substitutions that would be allowed during a game so that a player who may have suffered a concussion can receive medical evaluation. The rule changes would also limit the number of times players under 17 would be allowed to head the ball in a week.

By allowing for a medical evaluation of a player, the lawsuit hopes that players will no longer have to decide for themselves whether they may have suffered a brain injury. Young players are particularly prone to concussions, but often fail to take note of the symptoms before it is too late. In many cases, as well, the signs of a concussion may take hours or even days to manifest themselves.

Traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, often bring up issues of liability, especially if a person was placed in a dangerous situation through the negligence or recklessness of another person. For example, if a teenage soccer player is told to keep playing despite exhibiting signs of a concussion, then that player's coach may have acted negligently in regards to the player's safety.

Regardless of the circumstances, anybody who has suffered a brain injury due to an accident should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help establish how an injury occurred and whether liability issues may be at stake.