Article Text

Age, player position and 2 min suspensions were associated with match injuries during the 2017 Men’s Handball World Championship (France)
  1. Montassar Tabben1,
  2. Philippe Landreau1,
  3. Karim Chamari1,
  4. Gerard Juin2,
  5. Hosny Ahmed3,
  6. Abdulaziz Farooq1,
  7. Roald Bahr1,4,
  8. Nebojsa Popovic1
  1. 1Aspetar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  2. 2French Handball Federation, Paris, France
  3. 3International Handball Federation, Basel, Switzerland
  4. 4Department of Sports Medicine, Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Montassar Tabben, The Aspetar Sports Injury and Illness Prevention Program (ASPREV) Department, Doha 29222, Qatar; Montassar.Tabben{at}


Aim To study the association between player characteristics, technical components of the game and the risk of match injuries during the 2017 Men’s Handball World Championship.

Methods Team physicians of the participating teams (n=24) were requested to provide injury report forms throughout the Men’s Handball World Championship (France, January 2017). The individual time played, age, number of international matches played and all technical and penalty variables for each player were extracted from the official International Handball Federation (IHF) online database and used as risk factors in a general logistic linear model analysis.

Results Of 387 players, 49 sustained one or more injuries (93 injuries in total). The total incidence of match injuries was 82.1 injuries per 1000 hours (95% CI 66.2 to 100.5), non-time-loss injury incidence was 40.6 injuries per 1000 hours (95% CI 29.3 to 54.9), while time-loss injury incidence was 30.9 injuries per 1000 hours (95% CI 21.5 to 42.9). Multivariate analysis showed that age (OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.18, p=0.011), player position (backs: OR 6.79, 95% CI 2.25 to 20.54, p=0.001; goalkeepers: OR 5.03, 95% CI 1.15 to 21.94, p=0.031) and 2 min suspensions (1–2 times: OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.27 to 6.04, p=0.011; 3 or more times: OR 2.66, 95% CI 1.18 to 6.38, p=0.029) were significant risk factors for getting injured during competition matches.

Conclusion Age, player position (backs, goalkeepers) and 2 min suspensions were associated with match injury. Stricter rule enforcement should be considered to prevent match injuries in elite handball.

  • handball
  • risk factor
  • performance
  • injury prevention
  • contact sports

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the study design and data recording preparation. MT, GJ, FA, PL, NP and KC were responsible for the data collection and data analysis. MT, KC and RB interpreted the data and wrote the first draft of the paper. All authors contributed to the final paper. MT and NP are responsible for the overall content as guarantors.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study has been reviewed and approved by the Anti-Doping Lab Qatar (ADLQ), Doha, Qatar.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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