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One of the most common forms of a head injury sustained among soccer players is concussion, which on average affects 6-7 players per team per season. 90% of soccer players suffer at least one concussion in their playing days, and one in 10 retired players suffer the effects of concussion. Jonathan Brown is a famous former AFL player. He had 5 plates and 64 screws in his face after a series of concerned head knocks and concussions that eventually ended his career. His doctor advised him to instantly retire from the AFL as he had his third concussion within 12 months in the year 2014. Jonathan Brown suffered 20 concussions in his whole career. Jonathan Brown’s former teammate, Justin Clarke, was also forced to retire from the AFL due to concussions at the age of just 22. Given the seriousness of this problem, I believe that in order to prevent it, it should be mandatory for all soccer players to wear helmets.

In the 1870s and 1880s, when soccer was just getting started, there wasn’t much contact. As the game grew more popular, more injuries started to occur. More people had to quit the game because of the major injuries they were having from hits to the head, causing concussions. In 1893, a man named Admiral Joseph Mason Reeve was told he could not play in the Army vs. Navy because his doctor warned him that if he took any more hits to the noggin, it could cause death or ‘instant insanity’. Reeve went to the local shoemaker and asked him to make some sort of protection for his head. The shoemaker provided him with a moleskin hat with ear flaps. This became the first soccer helmet. Thus, this story is an absolute confirmation that helmets in football appeared for a clear reason – to ensure the safety of players because head injuries were becoming more and more common. This type of game has not become less dangerous, so the need for this equipment remains relevant.

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Although helmets are the most important piece of equipment in the game of soccer, more and more players are now opting out of wearing them. Some of the reasons include: it isn’t mandatory, cost, discomfort, weight, bulk, aesthetics, impeding temperature regulation, vision or hearing, or it may become a ‘target’ for the opposition players. In my opinion, such beliefs are somewhat frivolous, since helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of structural brain injury by as much as 85%. In addition, helmets actually reduce the risk of serious physical injuries to the head, such as skull fractures, as well as other structural damage that can occur with brain injuries. That is why wearing them during the game should be mandatory.

Of course, concussions aren’t always preventable. But I’m totally convinced that all of us can avoid other serious problems by taking care of ourselves if we get one. Concussions are ruining people’s careers, mostly every soccer player ends their career with concussions/head injuries. Coming back into the game could make their injuries even more worrisome than they already are, or lead to career endings, or even more seriously…their deaths. But actually, we can prevent all these negative consequences by simply making helmet-wearing mandatory among players.

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