Recent studies show there are long-term risks linked to heading soccer balls.

Scientists at Virginia Tech looked at head gear that can protect soccer players from concussions.
Inside the lab where all the testing is done — scientists emulated the impact of players.

“Most concussions occur when two players are going to head a ball and rather than head a ball they hit each other in the head,” explained Virginia Tech Lab Director Steve Rowson.

Laboratory testing determined that better models reduce impact forces by more than 50 percent and concussion risk by more than 70 percent.

Researchers tested 22 different soccer headgear models. The ones that received the most stars represent those that provided the greatest reduction in concussion risk.

The models that received the most stars are: The Storelli Exoshield headband, several versions of the Unequal Halo headbands and the Gamebreaker multi-sport head cap.

Click here to see the full list of results. Researchers also posted a breakdown of their methodology.

The lab’s work is part of Virginia Tech’s service mission and is independent of any funding from manufacturers.