Soccer players in the United States, Mexico, and Brazil are wearing gear to protect against potential concussions and other concussions, but they aren’t always wearing it correctly, according to research published this week.
According to the research, some soccer equipment companies, including Nike and Adidas, use incorrect sizing to estimate how much padding the players wear.
That makes the gear less protective and less effective at reducing concussions.
The researchers say they think the wrong sizing and padding could contribute to the high rate of concussion in soccer.
“It’s a real concern,” said study author Brian C. Miller, associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
“What do we want our players to wear?”
He said the research team looked at data from more than 10,000 soccer players and their coaches to assess how much protective gear was worn in the years prior to the start of the 2015 World Cup.
The study found that the size of protective gear worn by soccer players ranged from 20 to 80 percent of the players’ total body weight.
“We’re not talking about wearing a football jersey that is too small,” Miller said.
“It’s about wearing the right gear for the job.”
Nike and Adidas use a larger, larger size of padding to estimate the amount of padding players wear, but Miller says the padding is too big.
“Nike uses their own measurements and the measurement of the body,” he said.
“The padding that they use is really too large.
They’ve got the wrong measurement.
I’m not going to buy it for my kid.”
Nikes protective gear for soccer players is typically around a 10 to 20 percent larger size than the ones used by other sports, Miller said, but other companies like Adidas are much smaller.
The research also found that soccer players who were in contact with an opponent during a match wore protective gear that wasn’t as protective as those worn by athletes in other sports.
“When you’re in the same physical position, your head is going to be in contact, and it will be more likely that you’ll get a concussion,” Miller told Live Science.
Miller says soccer players’ gear may be too small because they don’t wear protective goggles and masks.
He said it’s important to understand the factors that contribute to concussions in soccer before taking a stance about whether or not protective gear should be worn.
“You need to know how to get the right kind of gear,” Miller added.
“The gear you have to wear should be for the situation you’re dealing with.”
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Originally published on Live Science