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From the National Federation of State High School Associations

Soccer Headgear: Look for Headgear Meeting ASTM Standard

There has been considerable debate in recent years about head injuries and head protection in soccer. If you are considering soccer headgear for your child, here are some facts to consider:
  • No headgear or other protective equipment can prevent all injuries, so soccer headgear will not make soccer totally safe;
  • ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) has adopted a product performance standard for soccer headgear (ASTM standard F2439-06);
  • The ASTM standard does not address the possible affects of heading; rather, it focuses on head-to-hard surface impacts such as head-to-head, head-to-ground and head to post, which are believed to be the primary mechanism in most soccer concussions;
  • Soccer headgear meeting the ASTM test and performance standards are permitted under NFHS rules as long as they are in their original configuration and have not been modified; and
  • The NFHS recommends that parents and players take the opportunity to decide for themselves if headgear is something they would see as beneficial.


January 29, 2010 Editor's Note: A review of the literature by an expert panel of the American Academy of Pediatrics, reported in the February 2010 journal, Pediatrics, found that the currently available data was "insufficient to state that soft helmets prevent injury."  The absence of data, combined with the lack of uniform safety standards and regulations, the panel said, made "universal suport of soft helmets premature at this time."