Kansas now requires all coaches coaching State Cup to do an online concision course. You can find the NFHS course Here. The course is good but what is more interesting is that girl soccer players are 2 times more likely to have a concussion than boy soccer players. The stark difference in Girls head injuries and Boys is not seen in any other sport. Why does soccer girls have more than soccer boys. This article from the Washington Post has an interesting take on it. Unlike a Huffington post article about the same topic blaming head balls as the reason. You would think the boys head the ball more than the girls and the boys would have more if that was the cause. The main cause is just the opposite. Because girls tend to be less aggressive they are not taught to protect themselves or others. In a mens’ game a goalie comes out sliding the forward jumps over the goalie, if they see they will not be able get to the ball or if contact is going to be made. In the girls game they are told to charge into the goalie kicking at the ball. This not only puts the goalies at risk but also the forward at risk. At the youngest ages because the players are not as strong and skilled the goalie comes out and is the one hurt, often to the head or ribs. As the girls enter high school the goalies are trained on how to protect themselves and come out. The forward is the one who is taken off with a broken leg. Unlike the article from the Post I don’t feel that it is inevitable that a girl will have a concussion. I feel the stark difference is because we want the girls to play physical like the boys but don’t teach them how to do it in a safe way. It is our job as clubs and coaches to not only educate ourselves about recognizing when a concussion as occurred but also teach sportsmanship and players to play the game physically but also safely for all involved. I challenge refs and other coaches in the city to do the same.