Soccer or association football is the most common team-based sport played on this planet. Over 1 million males and females play either the indoor or outdoor version in Australia.
Injury Occurrence: Approximately 35 players per 1000 playing hours will receive an injury.
Common Reasons For Injury: The majority of injuries occur during play rather than at training. Foul play accounts for 35% of injuries.
Most Common Type of Injury: Most common types of injuries are strains and sprains, contusions, fractures and dislocations.
Most Common Causes of Injury: Players contact, falls and tackles.
Most Common Bodily Areas Involved: Lower Limb, Upper limb and head.
Factors Increasing Injury Risk include: 1/ Age. 2/ Pre-existing injury. 3/ Poor fitness levels. 4/ Poor football skill levels. 5/ Poor field conditions and/or lighting. 6/ Overtraining or poor training techniques. 7/ Lack of personal protective equipment. 8/ Poor enforcement of rules.
Advice for Safe Play:
1/ Prepare for the season with pre-season training in skills and fitness. Ensure that the intensity of this training is steadily increased as the start of the season proper approaches. Focus on strength, endurance, balance, core stability and agility.
2/ Be acquainted with the rules.
3/ Always warm up and cool down on game day.
4/ Ensure all coaching staff have up to date accreditation.
5/ Maintain hydration throughout the game.
6/ Ensure all PPE is in working order and meets the Australian Standard.
7/ Ensure the pitch and lighting are safe.
8/ If an injury occurs remove the player immediately for an assessment by a health care professional. Ensure that that injury is fully rehabilitated.
9/ Ensure goal posts are properly anchored.
10/ Wear the correct PPE fitted properly for your body size and shape and skill level. Pay particular attention to ankle supports and mouthguards.