Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

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saint jude
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Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by saint jude » Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:51 pm

Ex Town and England captain Tel Butcher has asked for heading of balls during all games to be phased out over time, to prevent further head injuries suffered by players. He even mentioned the term 'catastrophic'.

Butcher told Sports Desk podcast that he vehemently believes (heading the ball) is something the game can (now) do without. He takes into account of Nob Stiles' family who declared (that) the game requires to "address the scandal" of dementia prevalent within the industry.

Butcher concluded by saying "Eventually I wish to see 'football' without heading'.


Now I got time for Butcher, he were a highly commendable servant for club and country but he's holding out for something that will never see the light of day. You can't have 'football' without heading of the ball. What about corner kicks and free kicks into the area, where most headed goals originate from. Imagine the game with shots from the feet only, not only would it minimize all goals scored throughout all leagues but it would seem so bizarre or unnatural to implement, it's tough to even imagine it could ever go ahead. Butcher puts forward a heartfelt idea but (he must realize) it's simply not viable.

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marko69
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Re: Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by marko69 » Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:31 pm

Easy solution, can only head ball in the box. 🤷‍♂️
Ball is coming in sideways, usually not with a lot of force and so , no problem.
Ball coming down with gravity from keepers kick off may be slightly more damaging.
Lets face it, no one thought the back pass rule would work. Heading the ball other than the area? 🤷‍♂️ seems ok to me.

BUT……. What Terence Trent Butcher needs to realise…… the balls are lighter than puff pastry these days…… not the zonkin heavy as all hell medicine balls in the dark ages of Nobby.

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Ricco
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Re: Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by Ricco » Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:19 pm

I'm not so sure a kneejerk reaction and game changes is neccessarily what's needed. The research is in it's infancy, so it has to be worked through slowly and methodically. One thing that can be changed quickly is the heading in training, maybe a player will head the ball 5 times in a match, but 100 times that week during training? If that's the case, then maybe heading in games can still be deemed safe and a smarter way to train is the way forward, perhaps using soft balls for heading training.

I think no heading would bring more goals not less SJ, but it would dramatically change the way the game is played, we would probably see more crosses and long balls, not less. I'm not for any changes to the game in the short term, not until we know exactly what is going on and explore all ideas to reduce the problems without making massive changes to the sport. There is a lot to consider, as you say Marko, newer balls are about a 10th of the weight of an old soggy leather ball :lol:... but then players are more explosive and train more these days, who knows, hopefully the scientists.

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Re: Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by Bluemike » Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:21 pm

The day you end heading is the day proper football ends, will never happen

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number 9
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Re: Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by number 9 » Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:39 pm

I remember heading a ball that must of been a hundred feet in the air and I literally saw stars. Yep that was back when…erm…well I forgot. :lol:

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Re: Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by ashfordblue » Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:57 pm

Let's put this heading the ball question into its correct context, the footballers who have died and are mentally ill through head injuries like old footballers like Jeff Astel when these players played they were playing with laced leather footballs, and when wet were heavy, the lighter weight footballs they play in today's matches are a mile of difference in weight and certainly do not absorb water like the old 50's and 60's balls, so this comment from Terry Butcher is a nonstarter in my estimation, football without heading is ludicrous. FACT

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Re: Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by Dubai Blue » Sun Oct 03, 2021 5:36 am

There are a number of sports where 'standard' practices are now known to be dangerous for the players health. Once we have this knowledge its unforgivable for the authorities not to protect the players by changing the rules to reduce or better eliminate these dangers.

The science seems to be more or less conclusive about heading and various serious health consequences. The writing is on the wall. I do believe its only a matter of time before adjustments are made and I don't feel that I have the right to insist that players continue to subject themselves to these dangers just for my entertainment. Let's just hope that the authorities are more enlightened and proactive than the powers that be in rugby who are embarrassingly slow to modify their game.

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Re: Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by marko69 » Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:09 am

Dubai Blue wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 5:36 am
There are a number of sports where 'standard' practices are now known to be dangerous for the players health. Once we have this knowledge its unforgivable for the authorities not to protect the players by changing the rules to reduce or better eliminate these dangers.

The science seems to be more or less conclusive about heading and various serious health consequences. The writing is on the wall. I do believe its only a matter of time before adjustments are made and I don't feel that I have the right to insist that players continue to subject themselves to these dangers just for my entertainment. Let's just hope that the authorities are more enlightened and proactive than the powers that be in rugby who are embarrassingly slow to modify their game.
Totally agree. Good post. 👍

I do believe the difference in ball weight will have a big input into any scientific results though. I mean the weights are like night & day.

And in reality, how much would it really change the modern game? If they banned it completely, it’d be as Ash said, ludicrous, but most keepers throw the ball out now anyway. Long punted kick offs are rarely seen.
Heading only in the 18yd box whether attacking or defending would be 👍

It’d eliminate centre circle head tennis where the players aren’t skilful enough to bring the ball down and control it. Thats a bonus.

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Re: Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by Ricco » Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:46 am

ashfordblue wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:57 pm
Let's put this heading the ball question into its correct context, the footballers who have died and are mentally ill through head injuries like old footballers like Jeff Astel when these players played they were playing with laced leather footballs, and when wet were heavy, the lighter weight footballs they play in today's matches are a mile of difference in weight and certainly do not absorb water like the old 50's and 60's balls, so this comment from Terry Butcher is a nonstarter in my estimation, football without heading is ludicrous. FACT
You know you can't just neglect something that fast and wipe your hands of it Ash! Thankfully the football authorities won't do that I'm sure.

Yes balls were heavier, but on the flip side that means balls come down from a greater height now, crosses are hit harder, players are more athletic so kick and head it with more power, and in the 50s and 60s players weren't training nearly as much, players now could be practicing heading away corners, crosses and long balls for hours a week. Things are never that simple sadly and the painful thing about this kind of research is that it can take 20 or 30 years to find out whether the changes you've made have been too much, not enough or least likely of all... just right. That's why it will take a long time and careful consultation with experts to reach conclusions and design changes, not an easy or quick thing in the slightest.

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Re: Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by saint jude » Sun Oct 03, 2021 4:09 pm

I gave it some more thought earlier and that's something Butcher clearly overlooked or didn't bother to mentally investigate.

This is just impractical nothing more. You take away heading from this sport and you may as well not play with goals (the structure with nets) or a referee itself. Butcher gave opinion on impulse most likely and didn't (care to) explain a multitude of reasons it's simply not viable.

Most but not all corners and free kicks on an opponents goal are cleared by defense with their head/s, therefore you take that away there'll be mass confusion where players are reaching up and fisting the ball away / grabbing it, and giving away fouls left and right. Bottom line it will be total disarray and would take so long for any all teams and players to adjust to a new situation it could never hope to be implemented.

I'd like to see it in a trail run for a handful of games if only for comedic effect. If it works - which it won't - then the FA or FIFA can go ahead and change the rules as they see fit. Worth adding that Butcher, a defender by all rights, only puts the issue out there years after he's no longer involved.

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Re: Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by tangfastic » Sun Oct 03, 2021 4:41 pm

saint jude wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 4:09 pm
I gave it some more thought earlier and that's something Butcher clearly overlooked or didn't bother to mentally investigate.

This is just impractical nothing more. You take away heading from this sport and you may as well not play with goals (the structure with nets) or a referee itself. Butcher gave opinion on impulse most likely and didn't (care to) explain a multitude of reasons it's simply not viable.

Most but not all corners and free kicks on an opponents goal are cleared by defense with their head/s, therefore you take that away there'll be mass confusion where players are reaching up and fisting the ball away / grabbing it, and giving away fouls left and right. Bottom line it will be total disarray and would take so long for any all teams and players to adjust to a new situation it could never hope to be implemented.

I'd like to see it in a trail run for a handful of games if only for comedic effect. If it works - which it won't - then the FA or FIFA can go ahead and change the rules as they see fit. Worth adding that Butcher, a defender by all rights, only puts the issue out there years after he's no longer involved.
The thing is about a trial run, this would be about firstly about whether this is doable and not about the competitive aspect. I’d say it could be a farce.
I just don’t like the idea of banning something when you could take measures to minimise or mitigate injuries first. Less heading in training, regular scans for players who might head the ball like a CB. Look at ball re-design. If the ball is as hard as people make out then players would be injured just by heading it. It’s not. Players probably head the ball far more in training than in a competitive match during a week, so cut back on that.

And if heading gets banned, then what next? It won’t end there. If the whole idea is to safeguard the health of players then why not just ban the sport. Before heading gets banned, why not ban motorsports? Far more dangerous, but the participants accept the dangers because they love the sport. Why not offer the players all the medical evidence and then give them the choice.

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Re: Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by Bluemike » Sun Oct 03, 2021 6:05 pm

Heading will never be banned from the game, it just won't happen, I do however envisage a situation where players may be allowed to wear some kind of protective headgear

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Re: Butcher suggests a bizarre way forward

Post by saint jude » Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:30 am

Somehow think that would cause more problems than it could hope to solve . Would minimize potential cerebral injury (and while that's foremost) you got to picture the game itself whereas head accessories / coverings et cetera would have an adverse effect on ball trajectory during course of game action.

This isn't so much a prevention (is) than better than cure issue, this is a contact sport where the use of the head has been in practice almost from (soccer) origins centuries ago. To encapsulate and once again, while player welfare is a concern, and not to trivalize the risks and past events of being involved, head trauma from the game seems very few and far between over the amount of time it has always been underway. It's a vital ingredient of the sport that in all truth you can't do without. That's about it.

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