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n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Common lower extremity injuries in female high school soccer players in Johannesburg east district : original research article
Objectives. Soccer is one of the sports in South Africa which has seen an increase in the participation of youth and adult female players. The aim of this study was to determine point and 1-year prevalence, profile of injuries that affect female soccer players, associations between injuries and player position, age, use of equipment, frequency of play, and training duration.
Methods. A retrospective questionnaire-based descriptive survey of 103 first team high school female soccer players in the Johannesburg east district was conducted.
Results. The 1-year prevalence for the participants who reported injuries was 46% (N=47) and the point prevalence was 33% (N=34). From these, a total of 78 and 42 injuries for the 1-year and point prevalence respectively were reported. An extended duration of skills (p=0.0001) and fitness (p=0.02) training in this population reduced the likelihood of incurring an injury. The older the participants, the more chance there was of sustaining injuries (p=0.01). The participants who wore shin guards were less prone to shin/leg injuries (p=0.01), the relative odds being 0.35. The midfielders had more foot and toe injuries than the other players (p=0.05). Starting age (p=0.78), frequency of play (p=0.83), wearing of shoes (p=0.54) and stretching had no influence on injury. The knee and ankle were the main locations of injury, with defenders and midfielders mostly being injured.
Conclusion. A decrease in the duration of training for both skills and fitness and not wearing shin guards are risk factors for injury in female soccer players in high school. The profile of injuries and the risk factors determined from this study do not differ from the studies done in male adolescent and adult soccer players.
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