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Won't somebody think of the children?

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Little Raven
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Won't somebody think of the children?

Post by Little Raven » Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:56 pm

And their poor little noggins?
When the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association passed a rule requiring high school soccer players to wear mouth guards in 1999, Amherst-Pelham Regional girls coach Derek Shea remembers joking about what changes would come next.

"When mouth guards came up, we sat in the (coaches) meeting laughing, and someone said, 'helmets are next,'" Shea said. "I said that was ludicrous."

Ludicrous or not, soccer players on all levels from youth league to college could be required to wear helmets under legislation currently being considered in the Statehouse.

Professional soccer players, like the New England Revolution, would be exempt. No other state appears to have a soccer helmet law.

"It's ridiculous. It's not football," Hampshire Regional senior Kristen Culver said. "You're not trying to hit the other person, you're trying to put the ball in the net. (Head injuries) happen, but not enough to enforce helmets."

State Rep. Deborah Blumer, D-Framingham, sponsored the bill on behalf of a constituent, but conceded it likely won't pass.
The :roll: seems insufficient here. Let's hope Blumer is right in her assessment of the bill's chances. Too much legislative lunacy manages to become law as is.
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Post by Texian » Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:26 pm

It won't pass.

Can you imagine the headers* they could do with a helmet?

* hitting the soccer ball with the head (in case you thought I meant something else)
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Post by UsulofDoom » Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:40 pm

How are the head injures caused. Are they do to being hit in the head by the ball or by falling?

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Post by YellowKing » Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:46 pm

If this passes, they may as well change their team name to the Amherst-Pelham Regional Dorkwads.

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Post by Texian » Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:47 pm

UsulofDoom wrote:How are the head injures caused. Are they do to being hit in the head by the ball or by falling?
Head injuries in youth soccer can be caused several ways:

Heading the ball
Falling
Head to head contact with another player
Hit in the head with a kicked ball
Kick in the head
Head hitting goalpost

http://www.safety-council.org/info/sport/soccer.html
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Post by U2K Tha Greate$t » Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:57 pm

helmets in soccer?

I can see that, just make sure they look cool and i dont see a problem.

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Post by Texian » Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:17 pm

U2K Tha Greate$t wrote:helmets in soccer?

I can see that, just make sure they look cool and i dont see a problem.
While it is true that Helmets would reduce injuries to the head, depending on helmet design, they could also provide a means of increasing the velocity of a headed ball thus giving some players a significant competitive advantage over others.
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Post by cheeba » Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:40 pm

They should have helmets. And they should have shoulder pads too. And they should be allowed to hit the hell out of each other. Same goes for golf.

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Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:57 pm

cheeba wrote:They should have helmets.
Spiked helmets fit for a Kaiser. Or maybe the 4 foot Turkish ones.
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Post by WPD » Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:01 pm

The only injury I ever sustained from playing soccer was when another kid punched me for an unknown reason, oh and the time I tripped in the "field" we played in and hit my knee on a rather large rock.

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Post by Grifman » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:28 pm

While it appears a number here think this is funny, medical professionals think otherwise:
A Norwegian study of active and former national soccer team players investigated the incidence of head injuries caused mainly by heading the ball. One-third of the players had central cerebral atrophy, and 81% had mild to severe deficits in attention, concentration, and memory. Players who headed the ball more frequently during competition had higher rates of cognitive loss.

In 1998, Dutch researchers showed that professional soccer players' performance on memory, planning, and visual-perceptual tasks declined as their number of concussions and frequency of heading the ball increased. 6 Amateur soccer players had similar results: performing significantly more poorly than control athletes on cognitive tests for attention, memory, and planning abilities
Although most sports-related head traumas come from contact with the ground, goalposts, or other players, heading soccer balls is an obvious factor – especially when practiced thousands of times during a season. A ball kicked at full force is estimated to hit a player's head with 175 pounds of force.

"No child under the age of 14 should head the ball," cautions Dr. Lyle Micheli, chair of the Sports Medicine Department at Children's Hospital in Boston.

He argues that kids have not fully developed the musculoskeletal maturity or coordination to properly handle a header until they're about 14 years old. Micheli also points out that some kids in the U.S. use larger, professional-sized soccer balls, whereas in Europe most children gradually work up to the adult-sized ball.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness: "Head and facial injuries account for 4.9% to 22% of soccer injuries, of which approximately 20% are concussions. . . Eye injuries are another subset of soccer-related head injuries."
Sorry, forgot the link, here it is:

http://www.fi.edu/brain/head.htm

It's alot more serious, especially in younger still developing children.

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Post by Grifman » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:30 pm

Texian wrote:
U2K Tha Greate$t wrote:helmets in soccer?

I can see that, just make sure they look cool and i dont see a problem.
While it is true that Helmets would reduce injuries to the head, depending on helmet design, they could also provide a means of increasing the velocity of a headed ball thus giving some players a significant competitive advantage over others.
Which is worse, protecting kid's health or keeping things competitive? Don't worry about your brain damage, Johnny, your team won the match . . . Johnny . . . Johnny?

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Post by Texian » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:45 pm

Grifman wrote:
Texian wrote:
U2K Tha Greate$t wrote:helmets in soccer?

I can see that, just make sure they look cool and i dont see a problem.
While it is true that Helmets would reduce injuries to the head, depending on helmet design, they could also provide a means of increasing the velocity of a headed ball thus giving some players a significant competitive advantage over others.
Which is worse, protecting kid's health or keeping things competitive? Don't worry about your brain damage, Johnny, your team won the match . . . Johnny . . . Johnny?
Helmets would change the way the game is played. Protect their heads with helmets or allow heading the ball - could not have both. I don't believe in designing the game around the kids' perceived needs but getting the kids to adapt to the way the game is intended to be played. Kids either need to use proper heading technique or not use it all.

1. Protect the integrity of the game then...
2. Protect the kids and...
3. If they can find a way to do both, great job!
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Post by Grifman » Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:29 pm

Texian wrote:Helmets would change the way the game is played. Protect their heads with helmets or allow heading the ball - could not have both. I don't believe in designing the game around the kids' perceived needs
Perceived needs? It appears the needs are more than merely perceived based upon the Norwegian and Dutch studies.
but getting the kids to adapt to the way the game is intended to be played. Kids either need to use proper heading technique or not use it all.
One, you and I both know that people are going to try in a game, even if their technique is not safe. Unless coaches start pulling Johnny from the game because his technique is deficient, you will have players trying to make plays on balls that they can't head properly

Secondly based upon the Norwegian survey it appears there is NO technique that will help. These were national team members, presumably people who knew and used "proper" technique. Yet one third had cerebral atrophy.
1. Protect the integrity of the game then...
2. Protect the kids and...
3. If they can find a way to do both, great job!
The integrity of the game comes first before safety? Glad to know you have your priorities in the right place.

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Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:59 pm

Grifman wrote:
The integrity of the game comes first before safety? Glad to know you have your priorities in the right place.
The only safe option is not to play. According to the link you posted, if 5-22% of soccer injuries (in the US among children) are head and facial (and overall 1-4% are concussions) then wearing helmets won't do anything for 78-95% of all soccer injuries. But you're still going to trot kids out there? What happened to safety?

However in a country where keeping score is often eschewed to protect kids' feelings I don't doubt there will be helmet laws. In about 5 years they won't even be allowed to play except on their consoles. Don't even let them outside. 0.57% of all automobile accidents involving children are to or from soccer games. Or maybe they can play safe old American football or hockey.
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Post by Grifman » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:13 pm

You're right, let's just lock em up - but then again, they need sunlight to produce vitamin D, but then they can get suncancer . . .

I largely agree - we can't lock kids up. But I think the data supports the fact that long term brain damage can occur to soccer players who play alot - and to young developing kids. And that the proposal wasn't as ridiculous as originally portrayed.

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Post by ChrisGwinn » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:16 am

cheeba wrote:They should have helmets. And they should have shoulder pads too. And they should be allowed to hit the hell out of each other. Same goes for golf.
And make the ball oblong. And maybe give them more than one point for a goal. You know, goalies are kind of lame, why not let everyone use their hands and just have the defense play up at the ball.

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Post by Darkie » Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:07 am

Until they're of the appropriate age, don't allow them to head the ball, then.

While reducing 14% of injuries may not be much, the key here is the difference between the types of injuries. If the 14% accounts for all brain damage cases, then it'd be worth it.
Jeff

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Post by Grifman » Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:16 am

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Grifman wrote:
The integrity of the game comes first before safety? Glad to know you have your priorities in the right place.
The only safe option is not to play. According to the link you posted, if 5-22% of soccer injuries (in the US among children) are head and facial (and overall 1-4% are concussions) then wearing helmets won't do anything for 78-95% of all soccer injuries. But you're still going to trot kids out there? What happened to safety?.
You're not understanding the issue. The point isn't so much avoiding day to day injuries - those will happen with any sport and yes, you'll have to stop kids from playing anything at all to avoid that. And that is unrealistic and just stupid if you want to enjoy life - you can't take the risk out of everything and everything has risks.

But that's not the issue. The issue here is twofold

1) The potential for brain damage in younger children, whose brains are still developing and more susceptible to damage

2) The potential for long term damage by people, including kids, who play year after year after year of competitive soccer, which seems to consistently result in some level of brain damage.

I just think this is a risk alot of people aren't aware of and might be worth considering, like all other risks.

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Post by noxiousdog » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:49 am

I thought getting hurt was part of life.

What degree of 'brain damage' are we talking here?
A Norwegian study of active and former national soccer team players investigated the incidence of head injuries caused mainly by heading the ball. One-third of the players had central cerebral atrophy, and 81% had mild to severe deficits in attention, concentration, and memory.
So, of people that played and practiced enough to make the Norweigian national team 80% had some unspecified degree of damage.

Forgive me if I don't rush out and buy a helmet for a boy that will probably put 1% of the practice time in that those guys did.
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Post by Tareeq » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:56 am

noxiousdog wrote:What degree of 'brain damage' are we talking here?
Most concussions are really no big deal as long as you don't make a habit of it. Repeated concussions, as with boxing, are a serious problem.

As for head injuries less serious than a concussion, they're impossible to quantify with equipment less sensitive than a PET scan or time-consuming neuropsychological testing.

I'll look forward to reading Grifman's study this weekend.

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Post by Peacedog » Fri Dec 16, 2005 10:10 am

And that the proposal wasn't as ridiculous as originally portrayed.
That remains to be seen.

Also, I imagine that helmets oculd be a problem for head-to-head injuries (most common when two people contest a ball in the air).

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Post by McNutt » Fri Dec 16, 2005 10:17 am

Andrea Bocelli lost his vision after a head injury while playing soccer.

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Post by ChrisGwinn » Fri Dec 16, 2005 11:46 am

noxiousdog wrote:I thought getting hurt was part of life.

What degree of 'brain damage' are we talking here?
A Norwegian study of active and former national soccer team players investigated the incidence of head injuries caused mainly by heading the ball. One-third of the players had central cerebral atrophy, and 81% had mild to severe deficits in attention, concentration, and memory.
So, of people that played and practiced enough to make the Norweigian national team 80% had some unspecified degree of damage.

Forgive me if I don't rush out and buy a helmet for a boy that will probably put 1% of the practice time in that those guys did.
Make sure he wears one of those old school leather ones when he plays football - the new ones are just due to fear mongering and sissiness.

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Post by LawBeefaroni » Fri Dec 16, 2005 11:55 am

Grifman wrote: 2) The potential for long term damage by people, including kids, who play year after year after year of competitive soccer, which seems to consistently result in some level of brain damage.
My FIL played professional soccer in Eurpoe. He has occasional neck pain from slightly compressed vertebrae he attributes to heading the ball. A lot. Enough to do that anyway. I haven't noticed any brain damage. At 72 he's still an internationally reknowned physician and researcher. Regardless, a helmet wouldn't have made a difference for him.

I can see maybe limiting the degree to which little kids head the ball, like less heading drills where they repeatedly throw the ball at your head, but requiring helmets is ridiculous. Additionally, I don't see how a helmet helps. Helmets prevent fractures and head trauma, the don't keep the brain from sloshing up against the skull. Long term repetitive effects wouldn't be that much diffferent.

You're not understanding the issue. The point isn't so much avoiding day to day injuries - those will happen with any sport and yes, you'll have to stop kids from playing anything at all to avoid that. And that is unrealistic and just stupid if you want to enjoy life - you can't take the risk out of everything and everything has risks.
See above. Helmets ONLY prevent traumatic injuries.

The helmet proposal, as stated, is stupid. It will do little to prevent the injuries they are attempting to prevent: the slow degredation of brain fuction through repeated minor impact shock. It will save the odd kid who runs headfirst into a goalpost or those involved in head-to-head/head-to-knee impacts.
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Post by Dogstar » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:03 pm

Did anyone find what type of helmets were being suggested? I'm curious, because there's no way I would have played soccer if they're recommending football level helmets. Over the fourteen years I played, I either received or witnessed more than enough helmets to the chest, stomach, knees, ankles, etc., all of which would have been a lot worse off if a helmet were involved.

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Post by Grifman » Fri Dec 16, 2005 5:02 pm

Tareeq wrote:I'll look forward to reading Grifman's study this weekend.
I thought I'd just make a movie instead. I'll call it something like, "Tareeq Wears a Helmet" :)

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Post by Grifman » Fri Dec 16, 2005 5:04 pm

Tareeq wrote:
noxiousdog wrote:What degree of 'brain damage' are we talking here?
Most concussions are really no big deal as long as you don't make a habit of it. Repeated concussions, as with boxing, are a serious problem.
I can only hope you never represent a client who has suffered a concussion. I'm putting this quote out on the street :)

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Post by noxiousdog » Fri Dec 16, 2005 5:27 pm

ChrisGwinn wrote:
Make sure he wears one of those old school leather ones when he plays football - the new ones are just due to fear mongering and sissiness.
I hope you wear a helmet every time you drive. Head injuries are very common in accidents.
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Post by Poleaxe » Fri Dec 16, 2005 5:32 pm

My son got a sweet header for a goal off a corner kick this season.

That is all.

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Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

Post by Grifman » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:51 am

I thought I'd resurrect this thread given the latest research:
Soccer 'Header' Impact Likened to Hard Punch
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 72924.html" target="_blank
New research into the impact of a soccer ball when players "head" the ball suggests that the forces can be substantial and that headgear designed for the sport doesn't appear to mitigate those forces much.

Scientists at Imperial College London examined the force of ball-to-head contact in soccer because it has been rarely studied compared with other types of head contact in the world's most popular sport, such as player head-to-head contact.

Experiments measured the forces and acceleration of a regulation, adult-size-5 ball propelled repeatedly at a magnesium dummy-like head at 18 meters per second, which is considered the average speed a ball is kicked by nonprofessional players. As a comparison, the researchers measured forces exerted on the dummy head by punches from amateur boxers.

The data showed the average forces of a soccer-ball header were similar to those exerted on the head by punches from amateur boxers, according to Daniel Plant, a researcher in Imperial's department of mechanical engineering, who presented the data Friday at a helmet-safety science conference at the university.
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Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

Post by pr0ner » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:36 pm

It's funny (or not), but Rush Limbaugh has been running "public service announcements" for years about the dangers of playing soccer; specifically, heading a soccer ball.
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Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

Post by mori » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:53 pm

When Ronaldo heads a ball into goal, a ball that I assume far exceeds 18mps, and he does not look concussed, or even have a hair on his head out of place. I have my doubts of heading a ball will eventually make you punch drunk. You are not doing it 40-50 times a day. Helmets will only encourage more aggressive play.

*Disclaimer* I am one of those radicals that thinks the NFL should do away with helmets, pads (only minimal shoulder pads allowed), and widen the field to allow smaller, quicker players. If your head is not "protected" by a hard plastic cocoon, a player will think twice when diving into a tackle. Goes back to the boxing analogy. No one died from bare-knuckle prize fighting, but it was also bloody. Deaths only occurred when gloves where introduced. Little fear of striking a person in the temple of the head and automatically breaking your hand, you will do it, repeatedly.

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Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:17 pm

Grifman wrote:I thought I'd resurrect this thread given the latest research:
Soccer 'Header' Impact Likened to Hard Punch
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 72924.html" target="_blank
New research into the impact of a soccer ball when players "head" the ball suggests that the forces can be substantial and that headgear designed for the sport doesn't appear to mitigate those forces much.

Scientists at Imperial College London examined the force of ball-to-head contact in soccer because it has been rarely studied compared with other types of head contact in the world's most popular sport, such as player head-to-head contact.

Experiments measured the forces and acceleration of a regulation, adult-size-5 ball propelled repeatedly at a magnesium dummy-like head at 18 meters per second, which is considered the average speed a ball is kicked by nonprofessional players. As a comparison, the researchers measured forces exerted on the dummy head by punches from amateur boxers.

The data showed the average forces of a soccer-ball header were similar to those exerted on the head by punches from amateur boxers, according to Daniel Plant, a researcher in Imperial's department of mechanical engineering, who presented the data Friday at a helmet-safety science conference at the university.
That seems like a rather daft comparison; realistically, how many punches from amateur boxers are thrown to the absolute strongest, thickest part of the skull (i.e. the area typically used to head a soccer ball)?
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Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

Post by Blackhawk » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:58 pm

I'm not sure that's relevant. It's the energy transferred to the head itself that is most responsible for brain injuries, not direct damage. The head gets jerked around by the blow, and the brain collides with the inside of the skull. What may be relevant is that the energy is being transferred in line with the neck, meaning that the head actually moves less when struck, possibly resulting in less trauma to the brain.
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Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

Post by Unagi » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:39 am

I did a few headers in my day... There is a way they do not hurt at all, and then - off that mark - they can very much feel like a punch to the head.

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Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

Post by stimpy » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:30 am

Unagi wrote:I did a few headers in my day...
As did I. But I was young and naive and was promised movie roles.
The important thing is to learn from those days and try to move on.
It makes my dookie twinkle.

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Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:39 am

mori wrote:When Ronaldo heads a ball into goal, a ball that I assume far exceeds 18mps, and he does not look concussed, or even have a hair on his head out of place. I have my doubts of heading a ball will eventually make you punch drunk. You are not doing it 40-50 times a day. Helmets will only encourage more aggressive play.
My FIL played pro ball in Europe. He insists that his current neck problems are related to heading the ball so much back in those days. He's a medical doctor so I can go along with that. Of course he's also in his 80s so take it FWIW.

A helmet wouldn't prevent that type of stress injury though, so I guess I'd agree with you. And I can't imagine the 50/50 balls with helmeted players going for them. They would go in with zero fear, someone probably wouldn't get up.
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Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

Post by Gavin » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:57 am

Do you think they'd consider removing heading from it if that's really what they're concerned with? Headbutting can already hurt badly enough, I'd hate to get headbutted with a helmet.

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Re: Won't somebody think of the children?

Post by noxiousdog » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:59 am

One of the Houston Dynamo players wears a padded helmet for protective purposes.
My continuing adventures of learning to play piano. - Now Playing Moonlight Sonata

Amazon Kindle Book Loaning Thread

"To wield Grond, the mighty hammer of the Federal Government, is to be intoxicated with power beyond what you and I can reckon (though I figure we can ball park it pretty good with computers and maths). Need to tunnel through a mountain? Grond. Kill a mighty ogre? Grond. Hangnail? Grond. Spider? Grond (actually, that's a legit use, moreso than the rest)." - Peacedog

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