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BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2017 Oct 9;3(1):e000220. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2017-000220. eCollection 2017.

The first prospective injury audit of League of Ireland footballers.

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Department of Sport and Physical Activity, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK.
Musculoskeletal Health Research Group, School of Clinical and Applied Science, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK.



Football has the highest sports participation (10.6%) in Ireland ahead of its Gaelic counterpart (3.9%). Research into injury incidence and patterns in Irish football is non-existent. The aim of this study was to conduct a prospective injury audit of League of Ireland (semiprofessional) footballers during the 2014 season (8 months, 28 games).


A total of 140 semiprofessional League of Ireland footballers were prospectively followed between March and November 2014. Data were collected in accordance with the international consensus on football injury epidemiology.


The injury rate was 9.2/1000 hour exposure to football (95% CI 6.2 to 12.9, p<0.05). Players were at a higher risk of injury during a match compared with training (23.1 (95% CI 15.2 to 31.3) vs 4.8 (95% CI 2.2 to 7.7)/1000 hours, p<0.05). Injuries were most common during non-contact activity (54.6%), mainly running (30.9%), and occurred almost three times more often in the second half (56% vs 21%, p<05). Strains (50.1%) and sprains (20.3%) were the most common injury types, and the thigh region was injured most often (28.3%).


The prevalence of injury in League of Ireland football is similar to that of European professional football, although the incidence of injury is higher. The incidence of injury is in line with that of Dutch amateur football.


Epidemiology; Football; Injury; Muscle Damage/injuries

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