Researchers studied soccer teams for kids under age 9 and under age
13 over a season in Switzerland. The teams were randomly chosen to
do their usual warm-ups or to warm up with the "11+ Kids" injury
prevention program, which includes 15 minutes of exercises focused
on dynamic stability, power, core strength, and falling techniques.
Previously, the study team found the 11+ Kids program reduced the
overall injury risk in children's soccer by 48 percent and cut the
risk of severe injuries by 74 percent, researchers report in the
British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The new analysis focused on the costs of the 11+ Kids program -
including printed manuals and instructions for coaches - and the
cost of treating injuries sustained by young soccer players during
the season they tested the program.
Healthcare costs for every 1,000 hours of soccer exposure totaled
228.34 Swiss francs (US$235.74 at current exchange rates) for
players who participated in the 11+ Kids program all season,
compared with 469.00 francs ($484.20) for children who did only
This translates into a savings of 240.66 francs ($248.46) for every
1,000 hours of soccer participation with the 11+ Kids program.
Implementing the program nationwide would save 1.48 million francs
($1.53 million) a year, the researchers calculated.
"It is especially important to keep children injury free, as certain
types of injuries clearly increase the risk for subsequent injury,
potentially lead to drop out from sport, or even lead to long-term
disability," said lead study author Roland Rössler of the University
of Basel in Switzerland.
"As such, the implementation of injury prevention from early age is
highly (recommended)," Rössler said by email. "It is a win-win
situation: The player (by reducing the risk of injury) as well as
the society (by reducing health-care costs) could profit."
A separate study in the same journal offers fresh evidence of the
need for injury prevention in youth soccer. This study, done in
Finland, examined overuse injuries in 733 soccer players ages 9 to
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During the 20-week study, researchers texted athletes' parents
weekly to find out about any injuries, then followed up by phone
with players to determine whether these injuries might be due to
A total of 343 players, or 47 percent, had overuse injuries during
Each week, about 13 percent of players had an overuse injury, and 6
percent had serious overuse injuries.
Knee injuries were the most common, and girls were almost three
times more likely to report these injuries than boys, the study
For boys, the likelihood of heel injuries was almost triple the odds
Older players were also more apt to get overuse injuries than
While it's no surprised that kids can get hurt on the field, the
type of injuries might surprise some players and parents, said lead
study author Dr. Mari Leppänen of the Tampere Research Center of
Sports Medicine at the UKK Institute in Finland.
"There has been a belief that most of the injuries in youth soccer
are acute injuries such as ankle sprains," Leppänen said by email.
"This study showed that overuse problems in children's soccer are
more common than previously expected," Leppänen added. "Although
these conditions often require no medical treatment, these problems
cause a long absence from sports, cause significant pain and
discomfort, and may discourage child from participating in physical
More information about the 11+ Kids program is available here:
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/2MZAfBm and http://bit.ly/2MUG5nm British
Journal of Sports Medicine, online August 14 and 21, 2018.
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