Dissertations and Theses @ UNI

Award Winner

Recipient of the 2007 Outstanding Master's Thesis Award - Third Place.

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Open Access Thesis


Soccer injuries; Soccer for children--Physiological aspects;


Soccer is considered the universal sport as it is played by youth in nearly every nation around the world. With such a large number of children involved in soccer, injury is inevitable. Many possible risk factors have been identified, but very little current data address other risk factors such as maturity and socio-economic status (SES). The purpose of this study was to determine injury rates and the association between injury, maturity, socio-economic status, and other risk factors in youth soccer players. There were 440 youth soccer players ages 6-18 years involved in the cohort sample and a sub-sample of 102 included in the risk factor analysis. Injury analysis revealed the players in the cohort had a 21.8% risk of being injured. The overall injury rate was 19.6 per 1000 exposure hours. Players were 8.2 (95%CI: 5.6, 11.0) times more likely to be injured in a game versus practice and 4.6 (95%CI: 3.0, 7.2) times more likely to sustain a mild (non-time loss) injury than an injury requiring loss of time. The sub-sample had a 30.4% injury risk. The overall sub-sample injury rate was 26.5 per 1000 exposure hours. Injury rates by gender were 16.6 and 32.4 per 1000 exposure hours for males and females respectively. The data revealed that players were 7.1 (95%CI: 4.1, 12.5) times more likely to be injured in a game versus practice and 5.1 (95%CI: 2.4, 10.9) times more likely to sustain an injury that required no time. Risk factor analysis revealed that socio-economic status and maturity were not risk factors for injury. Body-mass index was a risk factor for injury in males (OR= 1.56, 95%CI = 1.07, 2.28). Future research should consider a case-control design and a larger sample size. Personality characteristics including mental toughness and competitive anxiety may also increase injury risk.

Year of Submission


Year of Award

2007 Award

Degree Name

Master of Science


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Thomas Dompier, Chair, Thesis Committee


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Date Original


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1 PDF file (ix, 101 pages)



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