Incidence of soccer injuries and their relation to training and team success

Am J Sports Med. 1983 Mar-Apr;11(2):63-7. doi: 10.1177/036354658301100203.


One hundred-eighty players in a male soccer senior division of 12 teams were observed prospectively for 1 year to study the risk of soccer injuries in relation to exposure and to establish the connection between training, injuries, and team success. Totally, more than 100 hours of practice were analyzed. All injuries were examined by the same orthopaedic surgeon. On the average, each team played 36 games and had 95 practice sessions with 66% attendance of selected players. A direct correlation was noted between team success and the amount of training. Teams with more than average training showed a diminishing number of injuries. A high practice-to-game ratio seems to be advantageous. One injury every third game and every ninth practice session was documented. For the individual player the incidence of injury was 7.6/1000 practice hours and 16.9/1000 game hours. The incidence of injury was higher at training camps. Correlation was noted between the design of the training and the incidence of injuries. The duration of warming up seemed adequate, but its content did not appear to be satisfactory from a clinical point of view. Redesign of the warm-up with more emphasis on flexibility and the addition of a cool-down is suggested to reduce injuries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Prospective Studies
  • Soccer*
  • Sports*
  • Time Factors