Epidemiologic study of young soccer player's injuries in U12 to U20

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2014 Aug;54(4):526-35.


Aim: The aim of this study was an epidemiological report of the injuries to young soccer players from pretraining centres (12 to 15 years: U12-U15) and training centres (16 to 20 years: U16-U20).

Method: Over 3 years, 618 injuries were analysed, concerning an average of 137 players per season (66 and 71 players in U12-U15 and U16-U20, respectively). The injuries were diagnosed by a physician. Numerous injury-related information were documented: player, player's age category, date of the injury, site of the injury, injured side, type of injury, circumstances: training vs. match and contact vs non-contact, number of days of play missed, severity, and player's position.

Results: The injury rate was higher in matches than in training sessions. Non-contact injuries accounted for 77.0% of the injuries for U12-U15 and 65.6% for U16-U20. The injuries were mainly to the thigh and hip in pretraining players (23.3% and 19.0%, respectively), and to the thigh and ankle in training players (32.1% and 20.3%, respectively). Contact injuries occurred more frequently during matches, presumably because of the higher intensity of play. The analysis of match injuries by position indicated that for U12-U15, during the matches, lateral defenders were injured most often: 30.4%. For U16-U20, axial midfielders and axial defenders were most subject to injuries during the matches (26.6% and 23.1%, respectively).

Conclusion: These results may help to improve the programming of training. Between the first and third seasons of this study, a decrease in injuries during both matches and training sessions: from 174 to 107 (decrease of 38.5%).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Prospective Studies
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Trauma Severity Indices