Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Soccer players suffer more injuries when their team is ahead

Date:
October 9, 2013
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Male soccer players are at a greater risk of injury five minutes after a card has been given or after a goal has been scored. The frequency of player injuries also increases when their own team is in the lead. These are the findings of researchers who have analyzed injuries over the last three World Cup tournaments.

Male football players are at a greater risk of injury five minutes after a card has been given or after a goal has been scored. The frequency of player injuries also increases when their own team is in the lead. These are the findings of researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, who, in collaboration with Fifa, have analysed injuries over the last three World Cup tournaments.

Football players do not just injure themselves whenever and however. On the contrary, injury frequency follows a clear pattern that is dependent on how various events in the course of a match affect players' emotional and physical states.

This is borne out by three new studies conducted at University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy with the support of the international football association, FIFA.

Greater risk for players in the lead

The studies, which are based on injury statistics from the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cup tournaments for men, and which were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, show that:

• Injury frequency varies depending on whether a team is winning, losing or if the outcome is not yet decided. Players in winning teams are at the greatest risk of injury.

"This may be due in part to the fact that a losing team starts to play more aggressively," says Jaakko Ryynänen, a PhD student at the Sahlgrenska Academy who contributed to the study.

Exposed position for strikers

• The risk of injury varies between the various positions, the frequency of injury being greatest amongst strikers:

"One possible cause is that the results of any one match are very important in international tournaments. This may accentuate the role of the strikers, leading to increased pressure on them," says Jaakko Ryynänen.

• There is a direct link between the number of free kicks and the number of injuries per match. A match with more free kicks has a higher injury frequency.

• Injury frequency increases within a five minute period after a yellow or red card is issued, and following injuries and goals.

"One theory is that players lose their concentration following disruptive breaks in play, which then increases the risk of injury," says Jaakko Ryynänen.

Surprising finding

A surprising finding is that the number of injuries per World Cup match increases if there is a longer break between matches.

"It sounds contradictory that the risk of injury increases with longer recovery times, but our theory is that this may be due to players losing their focus on match games after a break of several days. Perhaps teams also play at a higher level of intensity after they have rested for a number of days and have more energy."

Prevent injuries

According to Jaakko Ryynänen these studies are important in terms of being able to prevent injuries.

"Our primary goal is to contribute with knowledge that can prevent injuries. The ability to recognise periods of matches when the injury incidence is high may be important in terms of preventive measures, for example replacing players at risk of suffering a repeat of a previous injury. Since there are more than 260 million football players in the world, preventive measures could help a lot of people. "

Temporary red card

Continued research could also result in new rules. Jaakko Ryynänen mentions as one example the introduction of temporarily sending off players for aggressive behaviour, as is the case with ice hockey.

"This is something for the governing bodies of football to consider. For our part, we will continue our research in order to identify more opportunities for injury prevention, and to see whether the conclusions we draw are also applicable to football at lower levels. "

The article "Foul play is associated with injury incidence: An epidemiological study of three FIFA World Cups (2002-2010)" will be published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on 15 October.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Ryynänen et al. Foul play is associated with injury incidence: an epidemiological study of three FIFA World Cups (2002–2010). Br J Sports Med, October 2013
  2. Ryynänen et al. Cover Full text Increased risk of injury following red and yellow cards, injuries and goals in FIFA World Cups. Br J Sports Med, October 2013
  3. Ryynänen et al. The effect of changes in the score on injury incidence during three FIFA World Cups. Br J Sports Med, October 2013

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Soccer players suffer more injuries when their team is ahead." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009125953.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2013, October 9). Soccer players suffer more injuries when their team is ahead. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009125953.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Soccer players suffer more injuries when their team is ahead." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009125953.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) — A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins