Injury surveillance during a 2-day national female youth football tournament in Kenya

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Abstract

Objective

To analyse the incidence, characteristics and circumstances of injuries during a female youth amateur football tournament in Kenya.

Design

14 injury recorders prospectively registered and classified all injuries during all matches. Four physiotherapists and two doctors supported the injury recorders.

Setting

A 2-day Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) inter-provincial football tournament for female players in Nairobi, Kenya. The tournament is organised by a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

Participants

938 females divided into three age groups (under 13 years (U13), under 16 years (U16) and over 16 years (O16)).

Main outcome measurements

Overall injury incidence.

Results

123 injuries occurred in 106 matches. The incidence of all injuries was 93.3 injuries/1000 h. Players in the U13 (relative risk (RR)=2.16, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.5; p=0.002) and U16 (RR=2.17, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.5; p=0.002) age groups had an increased risk of injury compared to the O16 group. Most injuries allowed the players to continue to play (n=98 of 121; 81%). For 15 (12%) of the injuries the player did not continue to play but was expected to fully participate in the following match, and eight of the injuries (6.1 injuries/1000 h) were expected to result in the player's absence from play for 1–7 days. The injuries most commonly affected the lower limb (n=100; 82%); contusions to the ankle (n=15; 12%) and foot/toe (n=15; 12%) were the most common specific injury types. Most acute injuries (89 of 113, 79%) were caused by player contact.

Conclusions

The incidence of injuries among female youth football players in a national tournament in Kenya was high, but time-loss injuries were rare. Playing football in a tournament organised by an NGO at the inter-provincial level was safe.

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