Prevalence of sport specialisation and association with injury history in youth football

Zoellner, Anja, Whatman, Chris, Sheerin, Kelly and Read, Paul J ORCID: 0000-0002-1508-8602 (2022) Prevalence of sport specialisation and association with injury history in youth football. Physical Therapy in Sport, 58. pp. 160-166. doi:10.1016/j.ptsp.2022.10.013

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Objectives: The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of sport specialisation in youth football, and to investigate the associations of sport specialisation and volume of sport participation with injury history. Design: Cross-sectional questionnaire. Setting: New Zealand youth football teams. Participants: 414 youth football players aged 10–15 years. Main outcome measures: The level of specialisation, average weekly sport participation and free-play volume were recorded. 12-month injury history was captured and grouped by injury type. Associations between level of specialisation and demographic variables were analysed using chi square tests. Logistic regression was used to investigate associations between injury history, level of specialisation, and volume of participation. Results: Participants were classified as high (43%), moderate (38%), or low (19%) specialised (n = 399 complete). High specialisation was more likely in boys, older participants, and those from large schools. Highly specialised participants were more likely to report a history of gradual onset injury than those who were low specialised (n = 340 with complete injury data). Odds of reporting a gradual onset injury also increased with greater weekly and annual sport participation volume. Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of sport specialisation in youth football, and it is associated with increased incidence of gradual onset injury.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Soccer; Young athletes; Overuse injuries
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anna Kerr
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2022 14:19
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:06

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