Background Research on high school soccer injury epidemiology is sparse.
Aim To describe high school soccer injury rates, trends and patterns by type of athlete exposure (AE), position and sex.
Methods This descriptive epidemiological study used data from a large national high school sports injury surveillance programme to describe rates and patterns of soccer-related injuries including concussion sustained from 2005/2006 to 2013/2014. Injury rates are calculated per 1000 AEs.
Results Overall, 6154 soccer injuries occurred during 2 985 991 AEs; injury rate=2.06 per 1000 AEs. Injury rates were higher during competition (4.42) than practice (1.05; rate ratio (RR)=4.19; 95% CI 3.98 to 4.41), and in girls (2.33) than boys (1.83; RR=1.27, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.34). Boys' non-concussion injury rates decreased significantly (p=0.001) during the study period while reported concussion rates increased significantly (p=0.002). Girls' non-concussion rates were relatively stable and reported concussion rates increased significantly (p=0.004). Player–player contact was the injury mechanism that led to the most competition injuries (injury proportion ratio (IPR)=2.87; 95% CI 2.57 to 3.21), while non-contact injuries were the most common mechanisms among practice injuries (IPR=2.10; 95% CI 1.86 to 2.38). Recovery from concussion was >7 days in a third of the cases. Injury patterns were similar between sexes with respect to position played and location on the field at the time of injury.
Conclusions High school soccer injury rates vary by sex and type of exposure, while injury patterns are more similar across sexes. Reported concussion rates increased significantly over the study period in male and female athletes.
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Contributors MK and DWC were involved in acquisition of data, data analysis, manuscript preparation, critical revision of the manuscript and approval of the article. IMA was involved in manuscript preparation, critical revision of the manuscript and approval of the article. RDC was involved in concept/design, acquisition of data, data analysis, manuscript preparation, critical revision of the manuscript and approval of the article.
Funding The content of this report was funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grants R49/CE000674-01 and R49/CE001172-01.
Disclaimer The content of this report is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or any of the other institutions that provided financial support for this research.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval The Nationwide Children's Hospital Subjects Review Board, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.