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J Sci Med Sport. 2011 May;14(3):199-203. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2010.10.688. Epub 2010 Dec 18.

Injury prevention target groups in soccer: injury characteristics and incidence rates in male junior and senior players.

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Department of Rehabilitation, Nursing Science and Sport, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


To identify target groups for injury prevention in male amateur soccer players under 35 years of age. A computer-assisted telephone survey with a 12-month recall period for injuries in a representative sample of Dutch citizens from the Injuries and Physical Activity Netherlands (IPAN)-database. A comparison of the volume of soccer injuries, the incidence and the need for medical attention per level of exposure and age category. The incidence in seniors was twice that of juniors (17.5% versus 8.1%; odds ratio (OR=2.4). In juniors the overall incidence was lowest in the category with the least amount of soccer exposure time (0-3 h: 2.9%; 3-5 h: 13.0%; 5+ h: 12.3%). A comparable result was found in seniors: (0-3 h: 12.0%; 3-5 h: 21.6%; 5+ h: 21.5%). Within each level of soccer exposure, a different incidence was found in juniors and seniors (0-3 h: OR=4.6; 3-5 h: OR=1.8; 5+ h: OR=1.9). Ankle, knee and upper leg injuries were most common (59.9%). Contusions, strains and sprains dominated (78.1%). Body region and type of injuries were similar in both age categories. Medical treatment for injuries was equally necessary in both age groups. Senior male amateur soccer players and particularly the more skilled seniors (involved in soccer at least 3 h per week), should be primarily targeted for studies on injury risk factors and prevention programs.

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