Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center

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Information about project titled 'Injury risk on artificial turf in youth football'

Injury risk on artificial turf in youth football

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Project status: Published
Project manager: Torbjørn Soligard
Supervisor(s): Thor Einar Andersen, Roald Bahr
Coworker(s): Ingar Holme


There is a lack of studies and inconsistent results on injury risk and the type of surface in football (soccer). Previous studies in this area have been conducted mainly in other sports and on older types of artificial turf. Among footballers, there has been concern whether there is an increased risk of injury related to increased training and match exposure to artificial turf. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine whether there is a difference in injury risk playing on natural turf compared to second and third generation artificial turf in youth football.

This prospective cohort study was carried out during Norway Cup 2005-2008. The injury registration included the 11-a-side classes, which comprised all the players 13 to 19 years of age of both genders. In total, the study comprised approx. 4 000 teams, 60 000 players, and 8 000 matches. All injuries, both acute and overuse-related, were registered and the injury definition was: all injuries, painful conditions or physical complaints which occur during the match, even if the player is able to continue to play.

The injury registration involved the referee, who prior to each match handed out an injury record form to each team. The coaches were instructed to fill out the form during the match. Immediately after each match the form was collected by the referee, and handed over to the technical headquarters along with the match score card.

This study will tell us if the risk of football injuries varies between play on artificial and natural turf in youth football, and if the injury type, injury location and the severity of the injury varies between the different turfs. The study will tell us whether adjustments of the playing surface could be a significant factor when aiming to prevent injuries in football.