Efficacy of the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program in the Collegiate Male Soccer Player

Am J Sports Med. 2015 Nov;43(11):2628-37. doi: 10.1177/0363546515602009. Epub 2015 Sep 16.


Background: The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) 11+ program has been shown to be an effective injury prevention program in the female soccer cohort, but there is a paucity of research to demonstrate its efficacy in the male population.

Hypothesis: To examine the efficacy of the FIFA 11+ program in men's collegiate United States National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and Division II soccer.

Study design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.

Methods: Before the commencement of the fall 2012 season, every NCAA Division I and Division II men's collegiate soccer team (N = 396) was solicited to participate in this research study. Human ethics review board approval was obtained through Quorum Review IRB. Sixty-five teams were randomized: 34 to the control group (CG; 850 players) and 31 to the intervention group (IG; 675 players). Four teams in the IG did not complete the study, reducing the number for analysis to 61. The FIFA 11+ injury prevention program served as the intervention and was utilized weekly. Athlete-exposures (AEs), compliance, and injury data were recorded using a secure Internet-based system.

Results: In the CG, 665 injuries (mean ± SD, 19.56 ± 11.01) were reported for 34 teams, which corresponded to an incidence rate (IR) of 15.04 injuries per 1000 AEs. In the IG, 285 injuries (mean ± SD, 10.56 ± 3.64) were reported for 27 teams, which corresponded to an IR of 8.09 injuries per 1000 AEs. Total days missed because of injury were significantly higher for the CG (mean ± SD, 13.20 ± 26.6 days) than for the IG (mean ± SD, 10.08 ± 14.68 days) (P = .007). There was no difference for time loss due to injury based on field type (P = .341).

Conclusion: The FIFA 11+ significantly reduced injury rates by 46.1% and decreased time loss to injury by 28.6% in the competitive male collegiate soccer player (rate ratio, 0.54 [95% CI, 0.49-0.59]; P < .0001) (number needed to treat = 2.64).

Keywords: FIFA 11+; epidemiology; injury prevention; neuromuscular training.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes*
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • United States
  • Universities
  • Young Adult