Widely known as a tough sport, soccer was once known as a gentleman’s game. The competitiveness of the game has increased over the years, making it more dangerous.
Many players have died over the years playing the game of soccer – some as a result of what happened on the field.
The authorities of the game have taken action over recent years to prevent serious injury, by giving the officials the power to stop a game for a head injury.
Sadly, some players use this rule to their advantage, by gaining stoppage for their team, to break up the play.
Terminal Velocity of a Soccer Ball
A soccer ball can be a dangerous object when struck, due to its weight and mass. With only the air to slow the ball down, a soccer ball can reach a force that can cause serious damage.
The rate of terminal velocity can give us an indication of the force a soccer ball produces. To give the figure some comparable here are two other rates;
The terminal velocity of a sky-diver is 53ms and a bullet is 90ms.
Using the thermal velocity tool above with these figures;
Cross-section area: 1520cm2
Drag Coefficient: 0.25
Air Density: 1.225 kg/m3
We can calculate that the thermal velocity of a soccer ball is
13.7696 m/s (49,570.6086 km/h) (metric)
45.1753 ft/s (30.8017 mph) (imp)
With a thermal velocity of 13.7, a soccer ball is nowhere near the rate of a bullet but it still packs a punch.
Like any object, it depends where the ball would strike a person, which would cause damage.
Getting hit in the face with a soccer ball
A soccer ball struck at full force into somebody’s face in pain. Normally when this happens, it’s at close range, which gives you no time to move out of the way.
The majority of times, it’s a fun event, because the player is caught off guard and they are not seriously hurt.
I’ve seen a player knocked out unconscious on the floor after the ball struck him. This was a moment of shock, then a while of concern.
A concussion can be a serious injury, that could lead to another injury. A player cannot focus properly and is unable to see assess a tackle, shot, or situation.
It can take a few minutes to fully regain awareness or a number of days.
Have a look at this compilation of soccer balls in the face.
A goalkeeper is more likely to be hit in the face with a soccer ball. This is why it takes some bravery to be a goalkeeper – they put their body on the line.
The best goalkeepers don’t care which part of the body it hits – just as long as the ball does not go in the back of the net.
If a player does get hit in the face, it’s important to check that their vision is not impaired and they can clearly function.
I got hit in the face with a soccer ball and my jaw hurts
A ball in the face can be like a hard punch on the jaw. If the ball is hit with enough power and it catches you in the right spot, it can hurt quite a bit.
You normally notice when you’re eating something that it’s painful to do so. As soon as you stop playing the game it’s best to put an ice pack on the painful area.
Like with many superficial injuries, it’s best to rest and your body will recover in a few days. If it troubles you to talk or eat, seek medical advice.
Most of the time it will be the joke for the next couple of weeks, but that’s part of the game.
Can a Soccer Ball Kill you?
A soccer ball alone is not likely to kill you, but under circumstances, it could be the final blow.
If a player is suffering from a brain hemorrhage or a blood clot, a ball to the head could be the fatal strike.
There are a number of circumstances where a soccer ball could kill you. Maybe not the ball itself, but the event that follows.
On a serious note, an accident like this occurred to a young woman in Alabama and she sadly lost her life. The young woman, Allie Brodie was only 18 years old.
Allie was born with a brain malformation and the strike to the head caused bleeding in the brain.
In respect of the tragic story of Allie, or health is the most important thing. Anyone with any serious injury is best playing it safe and take a supporter role.
Can Soccer Kill You?
As we a seen, soccer can kill you in the most unlikely situations. Soccer can even lead to a shortened life.
The more modern soccer balls have been designed to have to cushion to help with the impact of the ball to the head when heading.
Players that have been retired for a number of years are now reporting cases of dementia due to the impact of the older heavy soccer balls.
There are calls to reduce heading in the game and many youth leagues have introduced a no-heading policy. Which will protect the youth from injury while their head is developing.
I’ve played soccer across the U.S.A, Europe and I’ve coached many teams. Soccer is life for me, and with my experience in the game, I want to share my insights into this beautiful game with you.
Joel Powel – Soccer Blade