Boys soccer league injuries: a community-based study of time-loss from sports participation and long-term sequelae.Eur J Public Health. 2008 Feb; 18(1):19-24.EJ
Youth soccer is important for keeping European children physically active. The aim of this study is to examine injuries sustained in a community soccer league for boys with regard to age-related incidence, time lost from participation and long-term sequelae.
Primary injury data was collected from a soccer league including 1800 players, comprising approximately 25% of all boys 13-16 years of age in three Swedish municipalities (population 150 000). Injuries were primarily identified based on a time loss definition of sports injury. At the end of the season, a physician interviewed every player who reported injured to determine whether there were any remaining sequelae. If a sequela was confirmed, the physician repeated the interview 6, 18 and 48 months after the end of the season.
Forty-four injuries were recorded during 18 720 player game hours (2.4 injuries per 1000 player game hours). The highest injury incidence (6.8 injuries per 1000 player game hours) was recorded in the first-year elite divisions. Thirty-two injuries (73%) were categorized as moderate-severe, and 21 injuries (48%) required medical attention. Eight injuries caused sequelae that remained 6 months after the end of the season, and 3 injuries caused sequelae that lasted 4 years after the injury event.
An overall low injury rate makes soccer a suitable sport for inclusion in programmes that promote physical activity among children. When organizing soccer leagues for boys, injury prevention programmes should be provided to adolescent players when they begin playing in competitive divisions.