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n International SportMed Journal - Injuries to football (soccer) referees during matches, training and physical tests : original research article
Research question: The aim of this study was to analyze situations where professional football (soccer) referees suffer injuries.
Type of study: The study was designed as a retrospective survey which included 200 male soccer referees officiating in the Paraná's Football Championship (First and second divisions; 2005-2006 season) (Paraná-Brazil).
Methods: The referees completed a questionnaire on their referee qualifications, time spent in training and at matches, career history of musculoskeletal injuries caused by physical tests, training or refereeing.
Results: Ninety-five (95) injuries were identified as follow: 60% (57) occurred during physical training, 27% (26) during the physical tests, and 13% (12) during refereeing. Therefore most of the injuries happened during physical training. However, when the incidence rate of injuries by 1000 hours was calculated it was observed that the greatest incidence of injury occurred during the physical tests: 94.53 injuries per 1000 testing hours (95% CI, 62.1-126.9), p<0.001 when compared with training and refereeing. The total number of injuries was 95, where 78% were strains, 14% sprains and 6% fractures. Some referees suffered more than one type of injury. It was also possible to determine that these referees trained 3.7 ± 1.6 times a week and these training sessions were 60.3 ± 29.7 minutes long.
Conclusions: Soccer referees receive the highest incidence of injuries during the pre-season official physical tests, and were injured in the same proportion during official matches and training sessions. Muscle strains and ligament sprains were the most common injuries observed.
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