‘11+Kids’ reduces severe injuries in children’s football substantially.

Previously we reported on the FIFA11+ Kids study of our own Roland Rossler.  Just published now is a secondary analysis of this trial, in which the effects of the programme on reducing severe injuries in 7 to 13 year old football (soccer) players was assessed.

Football clubs (under-9, under-11 and under-13 age groups) from the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland were cluster-randomised (clubs) into an intervention (INT) and a control group (CON). INT replaced their usual warm-up by ’11+ Kids’ two times a week. CON followed their regular training regime. Match and training exposure and injury characteristics were recorded and injury incidence rates (IRs) and 95% CIs calculated. For the present analysis, only severe injuries (absence from training/ match ≥28 days) were considered. Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated using extended Cox models.

The overall IR of severe injuries per 1000 football hours was 0.33 (95% CI 0.25 to 0.43) in CON and 0.15 (95% CI 0.10 to 0.23) in INT. There was a reduction of severe overall (HR 0.42, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.72), match (0.41, 0.17 to 0.95) and training injuries (0.42, 0.21 to 0.86) in INT. The injury types that were prevented the most were: other bone injuries 66%, fractures 49% and sprains and ligament injuries 37%. Severe injuries located at the knee (82%), hip/groin (81%), the foot/toe (80%) and the ankle (65%) were reduced tremendously.

It was concluded that the ’11+ Kids’ has a large preventive effect on severe injuries by investing only 15 to 20 min per training session. The present study should raise clinicians’ and coaches’ awareness towards the ‘11+ Kids’ as an effective injury prevention programme.

The full article can be found here (paid access)

Beaudouin F, Rössler R, aus der Fünten K, Bizzini M, Chomiak J, Verhagen E, Junge A, Dvorak J, Lichtenstein E, Meyer T, Faude O. Effects of the ‘11+ Kids’ injury prevention programme on severe injuries in children’s football: a secondary analysis of data from a multicentre cluster-randomised controlled trial. Br J Sports Med 2018