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Injury prevention in female soccer players

Summary of a systematic review article on injury prevention programmes in female soccer players.


11,773 female soccer (football) players (Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, USA).


  • Systematic review with meta-analysis of 12 studies.
  • GRADE rating of evidence.

Outcome measures

  • Overall injuries.
  • ACL, knee, ankle, hip/groin and hamstring injuries.

Main results

  • All but one study had a high risk of bias. Practice and match injuries were analyzed together.
  • Intervention groups had a reduction of 22% in an overall number of injuries when analyzing all studies (low-level evidence). For studies using multiple training components, the reduction was 27% (low-level evidence).
  • There was no difference for all studies testing ACL injuries, but for studies with multiple training components, a reduction was 45% (low-level evidence).
  • Hamstring injuries were reduced by 60% when all the studies were analyzed (low-level evidence). No difference between groups when two studies with multiple training components were analyzed.
  • No difference for ankle, knee or hip/groin injuries between intervention and control groups (low-level evidence).
  • Incidence of injury in football for female athletes is similar for adolescent and adult athletes apart for hamstring injuries:
Injury incidence
Female soccer players
Adolescent (<18 years old) female soccer players
the same
the same
the same
the same
incidence reduced to 0.14
the same

Take home message

For a clinician
Multicomponent training programmes reduced 27% of overall and 45% of ACL injuries in female soccer players.
For a parent
Multicomponent training programmes reduced overall and ACL injuries in female soccer players.
For an athlete
If you are a female soccer player, you can reduce your overall and ACL injuries using multicomponent training programmes.

Original article

Crossley KM, Patterson BE, Culvenor AG, Bruder AM, Mosler AB, Mentiplay BF. Making football safer for women: a systematic review and meta-analysis of injury prevention programmes in 11 773 female football (soccer) players. British journal of sports medicine. 2020 Apr 5.

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