Fifty-five male soccer players organized in three teams, one high and two lower ranking, were followed prospectively during 1 year to register the rate, type and severity of injuries in highly skilled and low-skilled players. The injury rate of the low-skilled players was significantly higher than that of the better players. The reason for this is that low-skilled players play in more competitions. and this is where injuries tend to occur. When we stratified on game/practice, the low-skilled players' excess risk disappeared and no difference was found in the severity of injuries. Different ways of collecting data in epidemiological studies of soccer are discussed and it is concluded that the most precise and accurate collection of data can only be obtained by direct supervision and examination of soccer players in the field.
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