Soccer injuries among elite female players

Am J Sports Med. 1991 Jul-Aug;19(4):372-5. doi: 10.1177/036354659101900408.


Injuries occurring in two female elite soccer teams were recorded during 1 year. Of 41 players, 33 (80%) sustained 78 injuries. The incidence of injury during games was 24/1000 hours, while the incidence during training was 7/1000 hours. The majority (88%) of injuries were localized to the lower extremities, with equal occurrence in the left and right legs. Forty-nine percent of the injuries occurred in the knee or ankle. Most of the injuries were minor (49%), while 36% were moderate and 15% were major. Of the major injuries (N = 12), 10 were due to trauma and 7 (58%) were knee ligament or meniscal tears. Overuse injuries constituted 28% of all injuries and occurred mainly during preseason training and at the beginning and end of the competitive season. Traumatic injuries (72%) occurred mainly during games with a predominance at the beginning of the competitive season. Almost 80% of the traumatic injuries occurred during physical contact with an opponent. Extrinsic factors such as weather, playing surface, temperature, or the position of the player within the team did not influence the injury rate. We conclude that female elite soccer players sustain a high incidence of injury. Few injuries were major, but 17% of the players sustained a major knee injury during the year.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Sex Factors
  • Soccer / injuries*