Background The incidence rate of soccer injuries is among the highest in sports, particularly for adult male soccer players.
Purpose To investigate the effect of the ‘The11’ injury prevention programme on injury incidence and injury severity in adult male amateur soccer players.
Study design Cluster-randomised controlled trial.
Methods Teams from two high-level amateur soccer competitions were randomly assigned to an intervention (n=11 teams, 223 players) or control group (n=12 teams, 233 players). The intervention group was instructed to perform The11 in each practice session during one soccer season. The11 focuses on core stability, eccentric training of thigh muscles, proprioceptive training, dynamic stabilisation and plyometrics with straight leg alignment. All participants of the control group continued their practice sessions as usual.
Results In total, 427 injuries were recorded, affecting 274 of 456 players (60.1%). Compliance with the intervention programme was good (team compliance=73%, player compliance=71%). Contrary to the hypothesis, injury incidences were almost equal between the two study groups: 9.6 per 1000 sports hours (8.4–11.0) for the intervention group and 9.7 (8.5–11.1) for the control group. No significant differences were found in injury severity, but a significant difference was observed in the location of the injuries: players in the intervention group sustained significantly less knee injuries.
Conclusions This study did not find significant differences in the overall injury incidence or injury severity between the intervention and control group of adult male soccer players. More research is recommended, focusing on injury aetiology and risk factors in adult male amateur soccer players.
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