Clinical benefit of the FIFA 11 programme for the prevention of hamstring and lateral ankle ligament injuries among amateur soccer players

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ObjectiveTo analyse the relationship between the implementation of ‘the 11’ protocol during the regular season in a men’s amateur soccer team and the rate of hamstring and lateral ankle ligament (LAL) injuries, and to estimate the clinical benefit of the programme according to the type of injury and the position field.MethodsThis cohort study was conducted in two different men’s amateur soccer teams. During two seasons, the exposed group (43 players) performed ‘the 11’ protocol twice a week, and the unexposed group (43 players) performed the regular training programme. All players trained three times per week for 1.5 hours per day. Data collection was performed for every 1000 hours of play.Results18 hamstring injuries (injury rate (IR) of 2.26 injuries/1000 training+competition hours) and 15 LAL injuries (IR of 1.88 injuries/1000) were registered in the exposed group. In the unexposed group, there were 25 LAL injuries (IR of 3.14 injuries/1000) and 35 hamstring injuries (IR of 4.39 injuries/1000). The number needed to treat to prevent one new case was 3.9 in LAL injuries, 3.31 in biceps femoris injuries and 10.7 in recurrent hamstring injuries.Conclusions‘The 11’ programme reduced the incidence of hamstring and LAL injuries in amateur players. According to the field position, the programme was effective for defenders and midfielders. In accordance with the type of injury, the exposed group had a lower risk of LAL, biceps femoris and hamstring injuries compared with those in the unexposed group.

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