Thank you for your recent editorial regarding concussions in high school sports (“Our View: Maine coaches must set tone for student-athletes’ concussion care,” Oct. 6).

I note your decision to illustrate your editorial with a photo of a girl playing soccer. Interestingly, and disturbingly, in some studies girls soccer trails only boys football – and, in some districts, boys hockey – for incidents of concussions.

In the more than five years that I have watched girls soccer at the Class B and C levels, I have never seen a yellow card issued to any player and certainly never seen a red card issued – although I have seen the justification for it many, many times.

Coaches could be blamed for the way they teach the game, but the real blame lies with the Maine Principals Association and their referees, who do not control the game and do not penalize players for their actions.

For example, a free kick does not usually result in a disadvantage to the team whose player just fouled another player after being beat. Instead, it results in the stoppage of play and allows the rest of the team to come down and play defense.

On numerous occasions, as a travel soccer coach and a regular spectator, I have shouted that “football was on Sunday.”

Having known at least two girls whose soccer careers ended after concussions that did not involve simply heading the ball, I can only conclude that the MPA and their referees do an incredible disservice to student-athletes when they fail to control the level and nature of the contact on the field.

Ron Schneider


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