Injury epidemiology in Australian male professional soccer.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
J Sci Med Sport, 2020
Issue Date:
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OBJECTIVES: To describe the injury epidemiology of the Australian male professional soccer league (A-League) over 6 consecutive seasons. DESIGN: Prospective observational cohort study. METHODS: Match-loss injury data was collected from each A-League club (n=10) for each competition match (n=27/season) over 6 seasons (2012/13-2017/18). Injuries were collected weekly through a standardised protocol and were classified by setting, mechanism, severity, the type and location on the body. Generalised Linear Models were used to estimate the injury incidences (injury/round/season), whilst rate ratios were reported for total injuries and within abovementioned injury classifications. RESULTS: Overall injury incidence was not significantly different ranging from 4.8 (95%CI:4.1-5.8) to 6.7 (95%CI:5.8-7.8) between seasons 2012/13 to 2017/18 (p>0.05). Match injuries remained stable whilst training injuries decreased across the 6 seasons (exp(β) 0.59[95%CI:0.36-1.0]; p=0.04). Respectively, contact and non-contact injuries were not significantly different across the 6 seasons, although non-contact injuries were more common than contact injuries (p>0.05). Mild severity injuries decreased (exp(β) 0.64 [95%CI:0.4-0.9];p=0.02), whilst moderate severity injuries increased (exp(β) 1.7 [95%CI:1.0-2.8];p=0.04) in season 2017/18 compared to 2012/13. The most common injuries were at thigh (23-36%), of which the majority were hamstring injuries (54%-65%) of muscle/tendon type (50-60% of total injuries/season). Injuries remained stable across the seasons by type and location (p>0.05 and p>0.05, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Injury rates, mechanisms, locations and types have remained relatively stable over recent seasons of the A-League. Current Australian professional soccer league medical practices may have contributed to the stability of injury rates.
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