Header (association football)

A header[1] is a technique that is used in association football to control the ball using the head to pass, shoot or clear. This can be done by standing, jumping or diving position.[2] Header is a common technique and is used by players in almost every match.

Cristiano Ronaldo (9, white) heading the ball into the net for Real Madrid against Marseille in the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League.
Abby Wambach (20, red) heads the ball during a match against England in February 2015.

In general, a forward uses a header to score a goal while a defender usually uses a header to prevent the scoring of a goal by the opponent. A header is the only option when the ball is in air, because of the rule that a player can’t make contact with the ball using their hands. Most header goals are scored as a result of a cross or a corner. The playmaker passes the ball across the goal in the air, and the attacking player (either standing, jumping or diving position) strikes the ball with his head.[3]

Footballers such as Tim Cahill, Marco van Basten, Fernando Torres, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andy Carroll, Didier Drogba, Alvaro Morata, Harry Kane, Luuk de Jong, Olivier Giroud, Gareth Bale, Javier Hernandez, Sergio Ramos, Peter Crouch, Giorgio Chiellini, Ali Daei and Abby Wambach  are some examples of players who are notable for their quality headers.[4][5][6]

Health risksEdit

As with other high-impact sports such as boxing and American football, concerns over player safety resulting in chronic traumatic encephalopathy, due to the impact from both from the weight of the ball[7] and colliding with other players.[8] U.S. Soccer has taken actions in "eliminating heading for children 10 and under, and limiting the amount of heading in practice for children between the ages of 11 and 13."[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "head‧er". ldoceonline. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  2. ^ "TECHNIQUE - HEADING". Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Attacking Header". Talkfootball. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Great headers in recent football". Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Headers". Yahoo. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  6. ^ Jackson, Melanie (June 15, 2015). "The Header Heard Round The World". ESPN. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Does Heading a Soccer Ball Cause Brain Damage?". Scientific American. 26 June 2014.
  8. ^ Comstock, R. Dawn; Currie, Dustin W.; Pierpoint, Lauren A.; Grubenhoff, Joseph A.; Fields, Sarah K. (September 2015). "An Evidence-Based Discussion of Heading the Ball and Concussions in High School Soccer". JAMA Pediatrics. 169 (9): 830–837. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.1062. PMID 26168306.
  9. ^ "U.S. Soccer Provides Additional Information About Upcoming Player Safety Campaign". U.S. Soccer. 9 November 2015.