Soccer players usually put different parts of their bodies on the line when trying to hold off the opponent from getting possession of the ball or trying to score a goal. However, the part of the body that takes the most hit is usually the legs and the feet in extension.
Soccer players are often ruled out of competitions for up to six months owing to different degrees of foot injuries. This can hugely impact the career of a soccer player.
The high rate of injuries in soccer often becomes so scary that some prospective soccer players will begin to wonder if they can break their feet simply by kicking the ball.
Inasmuch as this may sound like an extreme way of looking at the sport, we cannot rule out the fact that it can be a possibility. However, some of the problems that may lead to breaking of the foot when you kick a ball may not be applicable to everyone.
The sad reality is that some people may be in the category of those with a high risk of breaking their foot simply from kicking a ball without even knowing it. Read on to find out where you belong.
Read more: Can a Soccer Ball Break Your Wrist?
- Can you break your foot kicking a soccer ball?
- Can you break your foot kicking a beach soccer ball?
- Can you break your foot kicking a futsal soccer ball?
Can you break your foot kicking a soccer ball?
Let’s face it, the possibility of a soccer player breaking their foot simply from kicking a ball is extremely rare. When this happens, it is usually due to fundamental health problems or nonchalance on the part of the soccer player.
Both morphological and environmental factors can lead to the breaking of the foot when a soccer player kicks the ball. While environmental factors can be controlled, morphological reasons can only be managed.
Another leading cause of breaking your foot when you kick the ball is poor soccer practice. Due to how popular the sport has become, it often appears too easy for the spectators such that many of them have begun to believe that the moment they lay their hands on appropriate soccer gears they can step into the pitch and start playing soccer.
In other words, not many people believe they need practice or coaching to play soccer. The result is that you will find a lot of amateur soccer players engaging in risky practices like kicking the ball with their toes.
Below are some of the reasons that can lead to breaking of the foot from kicking the ball.
Using a soccer ball that is beyond your age category
Soccer balls come in different sizes and weights depending on the age category they were produced for. Apparently, soccer fans are not the only ones worried about the size, weight, and circumference of soccer balls for the different age groups.
Prior to the standardization of soccer balls guidelines by FIFA, manufacturers were also on a hunt for some sort of guideline for the production of balls.
After diligent research, FIFA’s Football Quality Program came up with recommendations for soccer balls that should be used by different age groups.
Although the recommendations are not compulsory, sticking to them can help prevent the ugly incident of breaking your foot when kicking the ball.
Also, the different FIFA associations across the globe often have their own recommendations peculiar to their countries or region—and this may vary slightly from the FIFA recommendation. Below is a table showing FIFA ball size and weight recommendation.
|Size 3 (under 9 years)||Size 4 (under 11 years)||Size 4 (over 13 years)||Size 5 (under 13 years)||Size 5 (over 13 years)|
|Circumference (mm)||600 – 620||635 – 660||635 – 660||680 – 700||680 – 700|
|Weight (g)||280 – 310||290 – 320||350 – 390||350 – 380||410 – 450|
Sizes 1 and 2 balls can be used by soccer players of all ages. From the table above, it is easy to see that the balls get heavier as the age increases.
If a 9-year-old decides to use a size 5 ball recommended for those above 13 years, the 9-year-old risks breaking his or her foot from kicking the ball.
Kicking the ground while trying to kick the ball
Kicking the ground while trying to kick the ball is a common accident that happens among amateur soccer players. However, miskick can happen to anyone including the professionals playing at the top leagues across the world.
Perhaps, the damage may be minimal when you are putting on a soccer cleat. However, in soccer variations like beach soccer and street soccer where players can play with their bare feet, kicking the ground or rock can lead to instant breaking of some bones in your toes.
In medical terms, this is called a metatarsal fracture. Jones fractures usually occur on the fifth metatarsal base.
This area receives less blood supply which also leads to delayed healing. Some of the symptoms of Jones fracture include:
- Walking difficulty
- Painful swelling on the outside of the foot
Kicking the ball with the toes
Children and amateur soccer players usually find pleasure in kicking the ball with their toes. This is because it always feels like the easiest thing to do when you want to add power to your shot.
In addition to making it harder for the soccer player to hit his or her target, kicking the ball with the toe exposes them to metatarsal fractures, particularly if they are playing with a soccer ball that is above their age category.
When you kick the ball with the toe, it puts pressure on the bones of the toe. Depending on the force of the impact and the nature of the cleats the player is wearing, the soccer player may end up with broken bones.
Wayward tackle while trying to kick the ball
Defenders of the opposing team usually unleash their hardest tackle on a player that wants to kick the ball—particularly if they feel the player will score if allowed to take the shot.
Well, some defenders don’t play fair and will throw caution to the wind in a desperate attempt to bring down the attacker. One of the common injuries that can happen when a player that is about to kick the ball receives a sliding tackle is a broken ankle.
Difficulty in walking, stiffness, swelling and severe pain are some of the symptoms that will suggest that your ankle is broken.
Using tight and uncomfortable cleats
Statistics show that over 50 percent of people wear shoes that are not their size and soccer players are not an exception. Sometimes the solution may just lie in softening or stretching the soccer cleats.
When you wear soccer cleats that are too tight, they will squeeze your toes and make them more prone to fracture. Kicking the ball may just be the last straw that will break the camel’s back.
So, wearing the right pair of soccer cleats is probably the first step in trying to prevent foot injuries when you play soccer.
One of the medical conditions that can make you highly prone to breaking your foot when you kick a ball is Brittle Bone Disease or Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). Osteogenesis imperfecta simply means “imperfectly formed bone”.
This is a rare medical condition where a child is born with fragile bones that can easily break on impact. The condition can be mild or severe and usually develops with the child as they grow.
Brittle bone disease is a genetic problem that can be inherited or acquired through mutation. It is caused by a defect in the gene responsible for the production of type 1 collagen, a vital protein needed in bone formation.
When someone has a severe case of brittle bone disease, something as small as kicking a ball can leave them with fractures in their foot.
Nevertheless, someone without this disease can still break their foot if they try to kick a fast-traveling ball—like when soccer players use bicycle kicks to fire crosses into the net.
Can you break your foot kicking a beach soccer ball?
Regardless of the fact that beach soccer balls are softer than balls used in all other soccer variations, beach soccer players are more at risk of breaking their feet while kicking a ball. This is because the game is played barefoot.
Therefore, they don’t have the protection that cleats players in other soccer variations. Also, inasmuch as the game is played on beach sand, there is always that slim possibility that a pebble or stone may get into the field.
When a player kicks this pebble while trying to kick the ball, it will not only be a painful experience but can also lead to a broken foot.
Nevertheless, because of the soft nature of the sand pitch and the absence of soccer cleats, players rarely get injured from tackles as much as you will find in association football.
Can you break your foot kicking a futsal soccer ball?
Of all the soccer variations, futsal has the strongest ball. So, if you can break your foot from kicking regular soccer balls, the fracture will likely be worse if you kick a futsal ball.
Unlike association football which is played on carpet grass, futsal is played on a hard court. That means if you want to kick the ball and kick the ground, the chance of breaking your foot will be higher when compared to association football or beach soccer.
When you heard the question, “can you break your foot kicking a soccer ball” our best guess is that you probably thought it was impossible. However, we have been able to outline instances where a soccer player can break their foot from simply kicking the ball.
With this knowledge, you can further protect yourself from foot injuries which will further boost your career. Soccer teams are always calculative when buying new players.
No team will deliberately buy players just to have them on the bench all through the season. That goes against all the basic rules of common sense.
So, if you never thought that it was possible to break a foot from simply kicking the ball, we challenge you to think again.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!