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Head Injury in Soccer: From Science to the Field; summary of the head injury summit held in April 2017 in New York City, New York
  1. Margot Putukian1,
  2. Ruben J Echemendia2,
  3. George Chiampas3,
  4. Jiri Dvorak4,5,
  5. Bert Mandelbaum6,
  6. Lawrence J Lemak7,
  7. Don Kirkendall8
  1. 1 Department of Athletic Medicine, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
  2. 2 Department of Concussion Clinic, University Orthopaedics Center, State College, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3 Department of Emergency Medicine & Orthopedics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  4. 4 Swiss Concussion Center, Zurich, Switzerland
  5. 5 Department of Spine Unit, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland
  6. 6 Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Med Group, Santa Monica, UK
  7. 7 Lemak Health, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
  8. 8 Duke Sport Sciences Institute, Duke University Health System, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Margot Putukian, Athletic Medicine, Princeton University University Health Services, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA; putukian{at}


There has been an increased focus and awareness of head injury and sport-related concussion (SRC) across all sports from the medical and scientific communities, sports organisations, legislators, the media and the general population. Soccer, in particular, has been a focus of attention due to the popularity of the game, the frequency of SRC and the hypothesised effects of repetitive heading of the ball. Major League Soccer, US Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League jointly hosted a conference entitled, ‘Head Injury in Soccer: From Science to the Field’, on 21–22 April 2017 in New York City, New York. The mission of this conference was to identify, discuss and disseminate evidence-based science related to the findings and conclusions of the fifth International Conference on Concussion in Sport held by the Concussion in Sport Group and apply them to the sport of soccer. In addition, we reviewed information regarding the epidemiology and mechanism of head injuries in soccer at all levels of play, data regarding the biomechanics and effects of repetitive head impacts and other soccer-specific considerations. We discussed how to release the information raised during the summit to key stakeholders including athletes, parents, coaches and healthcare providers. We identified future areas for research and collaboration to enhance the health and safety of soccer (football) players.

  • head Injury Summit
  • Soccer, health and safety
  • concussion
  • major league soccer
  • U.S. soccer
  • national women’s soccer league
  • football

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  • Contributors This paper summarises a meeting about concussions in soccer. All presenters submitted content relevant to their topic. The seven primary authors worked from the presenter’s content to assemble this document. Once fully assembled, all presenters reviewed, edited as needed and approved this submission.

  • Funding The Head Injury in Soccer: From Science to the Field symposium was held on 21–22 April 2017 in New York City, New York. Support for the symposium was provided by US Soccer, Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League. None of the sponsors had any influence on the content.

  • Competing interests This paper has 7 primary authors plus 20 other presenters. Gathering disclosures from each will take some time and we did not want to delay this process while we collate all that information. Dr Kahn has expressed an interest in this paper and wanted to start the process. All disclosures are being collated and will be added once replies have been received.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Collaborators Head Injury Summit Presenters Steven Broglio; Rudolph Castellani; George Chiampas; Jiri Dvorak; Ruben Echemendia; Chris Giza; Robert Huggins; Thomas Kaminski; Michael Keating; Donald Kirkendall; Anthony Kontos; John Leddy; Jill Loyden; Bert Mandelbaum; Jason Mihalik; Willem Meuwisse; John Parsons; Elizabeth Pieroth; Laura Purcell; Margot Putukian; Kathryn Schneider; Sandra Serafini; Ira Smith; Gary Solomon; Gretchen Thomsen; Ryan Tierney; Michael Turner.

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