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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Oct 15

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12392-8


language: English

Incidence of injuries in semi-professional soccer: a six-month retrospective study in the Italian fourth division

Ennio BELLI 1, Luca FILIPAS 1, 2 , Antonio LA TORRE 1, 3, Jacopo A. VITALE 3

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy; 2 Department of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases, IRCCS MultiMedica, Milano, Italy; 3 IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy


BACKGROUND: Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world involving about 200 million athletes. Injury management in soccer is crucial for performance and for the costs related to rehabilitation and absence from official matches. While there is quite an exhaustive literature regarding injuries in professional soccer, for amateur soccer the incidence of injuries remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to analyse the prevalence of injuries in the fourth Italian soccer division during the competitive season.
METHODS: Medical staff completed an injury report every two months during the competitive season of the fourth Italian soccer division (14 teams, n = 278). The specific description of the problem, player field-position, number of training losses and number of match losses were collected for each player. The time periods were September/October (T1) November/December (T2), January/February (T3).
RESULTS: A significant association between injury type and the period of the season was observed: muscle and tendon injuries were the most prevalent injury type (48.9 %) in all three periods (χ2 (10) = 33.86, p < 0.001). Overall, 108 (39.7 %) injuries occurred at T1, 90 (33.1 %) at T2 and 74 (27.2 %) at T3 (χ2 (12) = 20.32, p = 0.071).
CONCLUSIONS: Coaches and athletic trainers should be aware of this greater injury risk when preparing a training program for the season, to implement injury prevention protocols for the most prevalent injury types.

KEY WORDS: Elite soccer; Injury location; Prevalence; Prevention

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