Ecology of player-to-player contact in boys' youth soccer play

Academic Article


  • Introduction: Youth soccer (football) injuries occur for a wide range of reasons, but the most frequent cause of injury is via player-to-player contact. This study was designed to study the ecology of collisions between players during youth soccer play. Method: Six teams of 11- and 12-year-old male players were followed over the course of a full season. Games were videotaped and reviewed to address three primary questions: how frequently do player-to-player collisions occur; when and where on the field do those collisions occur; and what is the rate of falls and injuries as a result of player-to-player contact. Results: A total of 1,279 player-to-player collisions was observed, or an average of 65.59 collisions per game. Nearly half of the observed collisions resulted in one or both players falling to the ground, and about one-tenth resulted in the referee calling a foul, but very few of the collisions (less than 1%) resulted in an injury. Collisions occurred relatively consistently throughout the games, no matter what the score was. They occurred most frequently in the midfield area, when the ball was on or near the ground, and when players were attempting to retrieve a loose, uncontrolled ball. Conclusions: Results are discussed with respect to implications for injury prevention. © 2006 National Safety Council and Elsevier Ltd.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Schwebel DC; McDaniel M; Banaszek MM
  • Start Page

  • 507
  • End Page

  • 510
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 5