Background There is only a small body of literature regarding injuries in male youth amateur soccer players. Yet such information is fundamental for effective prevention.
Objective Analysis of injury patterns among 17–19 year old male amateur soccer players and comparison with adult male amateur and professional players.
Design Questionnaire-based retrospective observational cohort study from August 30, 2014 to January 04, 2016. Players were instructed to fill out one general questionnaire and, in case of at least one injury during the relevant period of time, one additional questionnaire per injury.
Setting Regional youth amateur soccer level. Participants were recruited from 20 clubs of four regional soccer leagues, representing the fifth and sixth highest level of performance for this age group.
Participants 301 players who competed in one of these leagues during the season 2015/16 were included.
Main Outcome Measurements Exposure, injured body parts, incidence and time loss.
Results 205 players sustained 253 injuries. The incidence was 12.9 injuries per 1,000 h of competition exposure and 1.1 injuries per 1,000 h of practice and friendly games. 82.9% of injuries were located at the lower extremity. Ligaments were injured most frequently (23.3%). 32.0% of all injuries could be graded as severe, 45.1% as moderate, followed by 15.4% mild and 4.7% minimal injuries as defined by Fuller et al. (2006). Physical contact caused injuries most frequently (30.4%), followed by landings (12.9%).
Conclusions Injury incidences in male youth amateur soccer were lower, while the portion of severe and moderate injuries was higher than in studies researching professional soccer. The allocation of injuries was almost similar to findings in professional and adult amateur soccer. Although physical contact is cross-study the most important cause of soccer injuries, existing prevention programs almost entirely focus on non-contact injuries. Therefore interventions preventing injuries through physical contact should be developed and validated.
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