Background While injuries in football (soccer) have been the subject of numerous publications, little information is available about the injury risk in futsal.
Objective Analysis of the incidence and characteristics of injury in futsal players during top-level international tournaments.
Design Prospective survey.
Methods Player injuries during three consecutive Futsal World Cups were analysed using an established injury report system. The physicians of all participating teams reported all injuries after each match on a standardised injury report form. The average response rate was 93%.
Results A total of 165 injuries were reported from 127 matches, which is equivalent to an incidence of 195.6 injuries per 1000 player hours (95% CI 165.8 to 225.6) or 130.4 injuries per 1000 player matches (95% CI 110.5 to 150.3). The majority of injuries were caused by contact with another player, and 36% of the injuries occurred during non-contact activities. Most injuries affected the lower extremity (70%), followed by head and neck (13%), upper extremity (10%) and trunk (7%). The most frequent diagnoses were contusion of the lower leg (11%), ankle sprain (10%) and groin strain (8%). On average, one time-loss injury in every two matches was reported.
Conclusion While the location and diagnosis of injuries were similar in the two types of football, fewer injuries in futsal than in football were caused by contact with another player and by foul play. More information on injury mechanisms in futsal is needed to develop specific injury preventive interventions.
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Funding The authors gratefully acknowledge Fédération Internationale de Football Association for the funding of this study.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.