The incidence and burden of injuries in elite English youth female soccer players

Jake Beech, Ben Jones, Ryan King, Pippa Bennett, Stephanie Young, Sean Williams, Keith Stokes, Stacey Emmonds

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This study aimed to investigate the incidence, severity and burden of injury in English elite youth female soccer players. Qualified therapists at six English girls’ academies prospectively recorded all injuries that required medical attention or caused time loss for matches and training in 375 elite youth female soccer players (under-10 [U10], U12, U14 and U16) during the 2019/2020 season. One hundred- and eleven time-loss injuries (52 from training, 59 from matches) were sustained, resulting in 1,946 days absent (779 days from training injuries, 1,167 days from match injuries) from soccer activities. The injury incidence for matches (9.3/1000 hours, 95% CIs: 7.2–11.9) was significantly greater than training (1.1/1000 hours, 95% CIs: 0.9–1.5, p < 0.001). Additionally, the injury burden for matches (183 days lost/1000 hours, 95% CIs: 142–237) was significantly greater than training (17 days lost/1000 hours, 95% CIs: 13–22, p < 0.001). Injury incidence and burden were greatest in the U16 age group and were found to increase with age. Whilst injury incidence and burden are greater in matches than training, a large proportion of preventable injuries, soft-tissue and non-contact in nature, were sustained in training. Findings provide comparative data for elite youth female soccer players.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-615
Number of pages11
JournalScience and Medicine in Football
Issue number5
Early online date17 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
JB is funded by Leeds Beckett University and the Football Association. The remaining authors have no competing interests to declare..


  • Female
  • burden
  • epidemiology
  • injury
  • soccer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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