The FIFA 11+ Kids Injury Prevention Program Reduces Injury Rates Among Male Children Soccer Players: A Clustered Randomized Controlled Trial

Sports Health. 2023 May;15(3):397-409. doi: 10.1177/19417381221109224. Epub 2022 Jul 28.


Background: The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) 11+ Kids is an exercise-based injury prevention program developed by an international group of experts to prevent injuries among child soccer players.

Hypothesis: It was hypothesized that the FIFA 11+ Kids program would be more effective than performing a typical warm-up regimen in reducing overall injuries among soccer players aged 7 to 13 years.

Study design: A clustered randomized controlled trial.

Level of evidence: Level 1.

Methods: A total of 94 boys' soccer teams, including 780 players, were randomly allocated into an experimental or control group. Complete datasets were collected from 45 teams (377 players) and 43 teams (363 players) in the experimental and control groups, respectively. The experimental group underwent the FIFA 11+ Kids program as a warm-up during training sessions and matches at least twice a week, and the control group continued performing their usual warm-ups. Participants were prospectively followed during 1 season (6 months). The primary outcomes included the incidence of overall and recurrent injuries and their mechanism and severity. The secondary outcome was the rate of compliance with the intervention program.

Results: A total of 43 injuries were reported in the experimental group in 50,120 hours of exposure (0.85 injuries/1000 exposure hours). A total of 86 injuries were reported in the control group in 42,616 hours of exposure (2.01 injuries/1000 exposure hours). The injury risk ratio was 0.43 (0.29-0.61), suggesting that the experimental group experienced 57% fewer injuries than those in the control group.

Conclusion: The FIFA 11+ Kids program reduced overall injury rates in children playing soccer more than the usual warm-ups.

Clinical relevance: The results of this study provide evidence for children's coaches to consider including the FIFA 11+ Kids program in their warm-up regimen. Such a program may prevent injury risk and decrease absenteeism and injury-related financial burdens.

Keywords: children; football; injury incidence; sports; warm-up.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Soccer* / injuries
  • Warm-Up Exercise*