The aim of this prospective cohort study was to investigate the risk of acute injuries among youth male and female footballers playing on third-generation artificial turf compared with grass. Over 60,000 players 13-19 years of age were followed in four consecutive Norway Cup tournaments from 2005 to 2008. Injuries were recorded prospectively by the team coaches throughout each tournament. The overall incidence of injuries was 39.2 (SD: 0.8) per 1000 match hours; 34.2 (SD: 2.4) on artificial turf and 39.7 (SD: 0.8) on grass. After adjusting for the potential confounders age and gender, there was no difference in the overall risk of injury [odds ratio (OR): 0.93 (0.77-1.12), P=0.44] or in the risk of time loss injury [OR: 1.05 (0.68-1.61), P=0.82] between artificial turf and grass. However, there was a lower risk of ankle injuries [OR: 0.59 (0.40-0.88), P=0.008], and a higher risk of back and spine [OR: 1.92 (1.10-3.36), P=0.021] and shoulder and collarbone injuries [OR: 2.32 (1.01-5.31), P=0.049], on artificial turf compared with on grass. In conclusion, there was no difference in the overall risk of acute injury in youth footballers playing on third-generation artificial turf compared with grass.
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.