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Don't use your head: U.S. Soccer bans headers for kids

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If you played sports growing up, you probably had a coach tell you to use your head. But that could become a thing of the past, at least in soccer.

As part of a new safety campaign designed to prevent concussions, U.S. Soccer announced it is "eliminating heading for children 10 and under, and limiting the amount of heading in practice for children between the ages of 11 and 13."

The change comes after a lawsuit filed last year against some of the largest youth soccer organizations in the country, including U.S. Soccer and American Youth Soccer Organization, demanding they take action to reduce head injuries in the sport.

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Although soccer is often mocked in the U.S. for being soft, especially when fans see players flopping, it’s actually the second most dangerous sport for high schoolers.

In the 2005-2006 school year, a study found that 40 percent of concussions suffered by high school athletes were from football, which isn't surprising. But 21 percent came from girls' soccer and 15 percent from boys' soccer.

And female soccer players are actually much more likely to suffer a head injury. Another study determined there were 4.5 concussions for every 10,000 girls who took the pitch compared to 2.8 concussions in boys with the same exposure.

Even though the study highlights the dangers that soccer can pose, it actually refutes the idea that heading the ball is the most dangerous part of the game. An author of the study said it’s not the heading itself that causes concussions, but usually contact with other players.

Professor Sarah K. Fields told CNN, "If we can enforce the rules and minimize player-to-player contact, that could get rid of 60 percent of concussions, plus that would reduce other injuries." 

In addition to the updated concussion rules, U.S. Soccer also announced it would improve protocols for athletes returning to play after suffering concussions.

This video includes images from Getty Images. 

Referee pulls out gun during Brazilian soccer match

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A soccer referee is facing punishment after he pulled out a gun on the field in reaction to an argument during the game.

Gabriel Murta was kicked and slapped by players during a regional league match. At the same time, the manager of one of the teams demanded a red card, The Mirror reported.

That’s when Murta went to the locker rooms, and returned to the field with a gun, The Mirror reported.

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Murta is reportedly a policeman when he's not a referee.

A spectator recorded the confrontation as a linesman restrained Murta.

The group that oversees referees said Murta felt threatened and retrieved the gun to defend himself, The Mirror reported.

Murta was to undergo a psychological assessment and could be suspended or banned from refereeing.

Photos: U.S. women win World Cup

WATCH: Tennessee college soccer player sinks basketball shots, wins $10,000

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With $10,000 on the line, Bryan College student Gustavo Angel Tamayo, a soccer player, hit a layup, free-throw, 3-pointer and then a half-court shot Monday night.

And he says he did it all with a broken finger.

The feat earned him "Best Person in Sports" honors from Fox Sports, which noted, "He'd never played basketball before."

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Tamayo told NBC: "My mom started crying; Dad was overwhelmed. Right now, it's a great blessing, right now in the situation we're in."

The $10,000 was supposed to go toward his tuition, but the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that Tamayo's tuition is paid, and he's all for spreading the love. He told the outlet, "Everyone wants a piece of the pie, so I guess I'm just going to hand out $1 bills."

Despite his 100 percent shooting percentage in basketball, Tamayo will be sticking with soccer and hopes to go pro. You can check out the full video on Bryan College's Facebook page or on YouTube.

Germany cheers, Argentina mourns World Cup final

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After a long, hard-fought battle, Germany is taking home its fourth World Cup. (Via Getty Images

It took nearly 113 minutes for the stalemate to break open, but it was the foot and chest of German striker Mario Götze that broke the hearts of Argentineans everywhere and led Germany to victory. (Via Getty Images

Götze scored off a cross in the 113th minute to give Germany the 1-0 win over Argentina for the 2014 World Cup. (Via Getty Images

It's the first time Germany has taken the Cup since 1990, when the West German team won with, once again, a 1-0 victory over Argentina. (Via Getty Images

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Both teams had good chances in the first half — Argentina with a goal flagged for offsides and Germany with a header ringing off the post and out. (Via Getty Images)

After that, there were a few more scoring chances for each side, a hard foul here and there, a streaker, and that's about it until Gotze's goal. (Via Getty Images)

The late goal didn't give Argentina much time to respond. A last-minute free kick by Argentina superstar Lionel Messi went soaring high over the goal. (Via Getty Images

Shortly after, soccer fans from all over the world erupted. 

Many German outlets focused their praise on striker Götze, the 22-year-old who subbed in late in the match. (Via AbendzeitungB.Z.Emsdettener-Volkszeitung)

>> Special section: 2014 FIFA World Cup

Express.de simply puts it, "World Champion."

Though the Argentina outlets were a bit more somber. 

Argentinean news site Infobae wrote, "​Argentina brushed glory, but Germany won the World Cup in overtime."

And Urgente24 reads, "The dream is over."

Germany will have four years to celebrate and will look to defend their title in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. (Via Getty Images

The best World Cup ever ... or the worst?

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With the World Cup wrapping up at Rio's legendary Maracaña stadium Sunday afternoon, many are already asking if this has been the best World Cup ever. (Via Getty Images)

It's the ubiquitous question, gracing the headlines of publications from Forbes, to The Guardian and The Atlantic, as pundits try to find Brazil 2014 a place in the World Cup pantheon. 

Those outlets point to the exciting matches, underdog stories and huge goal tally — a whopping 170 goals total — as some of the reasons the tournament could be considered the greatest of all time. (Via Getty Images)

There was certainly plenty of drama. Who could forget Luis Suarez biting a player, or Brazil's star player Neymar getting injured before the semifinal against Germany?

And American fans took to the game like never before, with the U.S.'s thrilling 2-2 draw against Portugal attracting a record-smashing 25 million viewers. (Via The New York Times)

A recent survey by the BBC showed just how big a hit Brazil has been. Almost 40 percent of responders named Brazil's tournament as the best ever — that's more than the next four top choices combined. 

But there is one group of fans for whom this will go down as the worst ever World Cup: the hosts themselves.

Brazil suffered its biggest ever World Cup defeat at the hands of Germany: a humiliating 7-1 thrashing that, for some of the proudest fans in soccer, has eclipsed 1950's home defeat in the final against Uruguay. (ViaGetty Images)

The Brazilian press were quick to condemn everyone involved, with newspapers telling Brazil manager Felipe Sclorai to "go to hell!" and calling the tournament an $11 billion waste. (Via Youtube / roosvelt1984)

In the lead-up to the World Cup, and last year's Confederation Cup, there were widespread protests against what many Brazilians saw as wasteful spending. (Via VICE)

Bloomberg reports corruption is largely to blame for stadium construction and other preparation going more than $1 billion over-budget. 

​And one superlative that's pretty indisputable, as CNBC points out: Brazil 2014 is the most expensive World Cup in history, with costs totaling around $11 billion. 

The anti-World Cup sentiment projected in those protests was largely cooled by the excitement of the games themselves. Now that excitement's gone, some say there could be political consequences. (ViaYoutube / Ben Tavener)

As Vox reports, Brazil's presidential elections are coming up in October. And while incumbent Dilma Rousseff is still the front-runner, unhappy voters tend to vote against incumbents.

And Foreign Policy reports Brazil's losses have possibly sparked something bigger, writing, "Now the beautiful game is at the center of an agonized national rethink, a mass, middle-class movement against outdated infrastructure and failing services."

One final insult for Brazil: watching their biggest rivals Argentina play in their most revered stadium. 

Photos: 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil

2014 World Cup schedule

The 2014 World Cup tournament opened June 12 in Sao Paulo and ends July 13 with the championship game in Rio de Janeiro. All 64 games air on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.  (All times Eastern)FIRST ROUNDTHURSDAY, JUNE 12Brazil 3, Croatia 1

FRIDAY, JUNE 13Mexico 1, Cameroon 0Netherlands 5, Spain 1Chile 3, Australia 1

SATURDAY, JUNE 14Colombia 3, Greece 0Costa Rica 3, Uruguay 1Italy 2, England 1Ivory Coast 2, Japan 1

SUNDAY, JUNE 15Switzerland 2, Ecuador 1France 3, Honduras 0Argentina 2, Bosnia-Herzegovina 1

MONDAY, JUNE 16Germany 4, Portugal 0Nigeria 0, Iran 0United States 2, Ghana 1

TUESDAY, JUNE 17Belgium 2, Algeria 1Brazil 0, Mexico 0Russia 1, South Korea 1

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18Netherlands 3, Australia 2Chile 2, Spain 0Croatia 4, Cameroon 0

THURSDAY, JUNE 19Colombia 2, Ivory Coast 1Uruguay 2, England 1Japan 0, Greece 0

FRIDAY, JUNE 20Costa Rica 1, Italy 0France 5, Switzerland 2Ecuador 2, Honduras 1

SATURDAY, JUNE 21Argentina 1, Iran 0Germany 2, Ghana 2Nigeria 1, Bosnia Herzegovina 0

SUNDAY, JUNE 22Belgium 1, Russia 0Algeria 4, South Korea 2United States 2, Portugal 2

MONDAY, JUNE 23Netherlands 2, Chile 0Spain 3, Australia 0Mexico 3, Croatia 1Brazil 4, Cameroon 1TUESDAY, JUNE 24Uruguay 1, Italy 0Costa Rica 0, England 0Colombia 4, Japan 1Greece 2,Ivory Coast 1WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25Argentina 3, Nigeria 2Bosnia Herzegovina 3, Iran 1Ecuador 0, France 0Switzerland 3, Honduras 0THURSDAY, JUNE 26Germany 1, United States 0Portugal 1, Ghana 1Belgium 1, South Korea 0Algeria 1, Russia 1

SECOND ROUNDSATURDAY, JUNE 28Brazil 1 (3), Chile 1 (2)Colombia 2, Uruguay 0 

SUNDAY, JUNE 29Netherlands 2, Mexico 1Costa Rica 1 (5), Greece 1 (3) 

MONDAY, JUNE 30France 2, Nigeria 0Germany 2, Algeria 1

TUESDAY, JULY 1Argentina 1, Switzerland 0 Belgium 2, United States 1

QUARTERFINALSFRIDAY, JULY 4Germany 1, France 0Brazil 2, Colombia 1

 SATURDAY, JULY 5Argentina 1, Belgium 0Netherlands 0 (4), Costa Rica 0 (3)

SEMIFINALSTUESDAY, JULY 8Germany 7, Brazil 1

WEDNESDAY, JULY 9Argentina 0 (4), Netherlands 0 (2)

THIRD PLACE GAMESATURDAY, JULY 12Brazil 0, Netherlands 3

CHAMPIONSHIP GAMESUNDAY, JULY 13Argentina 0, Germany 1

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