Biological maturity and injury in elite youth football

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2007 Oct;17(5):564-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2006.00594.x.


The purpose of the present study was to investigate injury according to biological maturity in elite under-14 youth football players based at the National Football Institute, France. Over 10 seasons, injury incidence, severity and distribution were compared in 233 players classed according to individual biological maturity determined by skeletal age into three cohorts as early, normal and late maturers.A non-significant higher injury incidence was found in early and normal maturers compared with late maturers. In contrast, the latter group sustained a significantly higher incidence of major injuries compared with early maturers (0.3 vs 0.6 vs 0.9, P=0.039). A significantly higher incidence of osteochrondoses was reported in normal and late maturers (0.3 vs 0.7 vs 0.9, P=0.014), whereas tendinopathy incidence was greater in early and normal maturers (0.06 vs 0.08 vs 0.02, P=0.033). Early maturers incurred the highest incidence of groin strains and re-injuries (P<0.05). There was no significant difference between groups in the seasonal disposition of injury.Biological maturity status did not significantly affect overall injury incidence in elite French youth football players, although there were differences between maturity groups when patterns of injury location, type, severity and re-injury were analyzed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Child
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Maturation*
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Time Factors