RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Surprisingly, female soccer players have some of the highest rates for concussions in the sporting world, but the only padding a soccer player typically wears is shin guards. Until now.
A local dad and his 12-year-old daughter are hoping to change perceptions, and add more protection for players.
In soccer it's not just your feet that get things rolling. Headers are a big part of the game. Which also make head-to-head collisions even more likely than in sports like football.
"At first I didn't really know that I had anything wrong with me. It didn't hurt at first. I just saw her eye was bleeding. I was like: Ref, she's hurt!" said Caroline Jones.
Caroline Jones collided with a fellow Richmond Kicker last year.
"All of sudden it just hit me and started to hurt really bad," she said.
She ended up with a mild concussion, one too many for her dad Robert, who's seen his children suffer a total of 6 concussions over the years.
"They'll go up for a header and they will jerk their head. Two people doing it at the same time and they and they basically just collide like that. It's basically just skull against skull at that point," said Robert.
Now, Caroline sports head gear for all practices and games.
"It's really light. It's lighter than shin guards. At first it was kind of weird just because like I didn't have it before, but after a couple practices it was like part of my uniform," explained Caroline.
It's a lightweight material that straps around the forehead and provides extra foam padding.
And extra peace of mind for dads like Robert.
"It could go a long way towards minimizing some of the concussions out there it's not perfect obviously. It's not going to prevent all of them," Robert said.
The head gear costs around $40 and is sold at most of our local sporting good stores. You can also order it online.