n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - An investigation of identified factors and their influence on the number of injuries sustained by elite male African youth soccer players science - : sport science

Volume 18 Number sup-1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Many risk factors for injuries in soccer have been identified; however there is little agreement with respect to the findings. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of chronological age, anthropometric measurements, maturity status, player position, level of competition, participation in warm up and cool down exercise, and the use of protective gear in relation to the number of injuries sustained by soccer players. The study was conducted on 169 elite, male African youth soccer players aged 14 and 18 years from eleven African countries. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data for this study. Data were collected retrospectively and included prevalence of injuries over a two-season period. Finally the questionnaire required information regarding participation in warm up and cool down and the use of protective gear (shin guards, ankle protection). Thereafter the maturation status for each player was assessed followed by the anthropometrical measurements. Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance and independent t-tests were used for statistical analysis. Player position, level of competition and duration of warm-up activities was found to be significant risk factors for injury in soccer. In addition, one weak positive correlation was found between anthropometric measurements and the total number of injuries, namely the endomorph measurement. Other potential risk factors such as chronological age, maturity status, protective gear and cool-down were not associated with increased risk in this study. Further studies are needed to account for the multifactorial nature of sports injuries by including as many relevant risk factors as possible and using a multivariate statistical approach.

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