Game On: Preventing Soccer Injury

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

Soccer is one of the top two sports contributing to injury rates in Canadian youth, accounting for greater than 10% of all sport injuries requiring medical attention. There is considerable evidence that neuromuscular training programs can reduce soccer-related injury by 29-72%. Still, there has been little uptake of these training programs in youth soccer leagues.

Enter the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation and Bone and Joint Canada. Through a joint initiative between the COF and BJC, and working with the Ontario Soccer Association, FIFA 11+ was introduced and promoted to soccer leagues across Ontario. The program is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Having started in 2014, the program wraps up this spring.

The FIFA 11+ injury prevention program is a 20 minute warm-up routine delivered by a trained coach, consisting of varying exercises which need to be completed at least one and half times per week. Through the COF and BJC, training sessions were offered to soccer clubs in Ontario. Program uptake has been impressive, with 45 clubs introducing the program to their teams.

“With this program, we can expect to see a reduction of injury rates in youth by up to 46% for knee and ankle injuries and up to 76% reduction in ACL injuries,” says Rhona McGlasson, PT, Executive Director of Bone and Joint Canada.

Plans are underway to extend the program to soccer clubs outside of Ontario and to sports other than soccer.

For more information and to see the FIFA 11+ exercises visit Injury Prevention