Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 136, Issue 3, pp 353–360 | Cite as

Influence of preparation and football skill level on injury incidence during an amateur football tournament

  • Matthias Koch
  • Johannes Zellner
  • Arne Berner
  • Stephan Grechenig
  • Volker Krutsch
  • Michael Nerlich
  • Peter Angele
  • Werner Krutsch
Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine



Scientific studies on injury characteristics are rather common in professional football but not in amateur football despite the thousands of amateur football tournaments taking place worldwide each year. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the preparation and injury patterns of players of two different football skill levels who participated in an international amateur football tournament.


In a prospective cohort study, an international amateur football tournament of medical doctors in 2011 was analysed with regard to training and warm-up preparation, the level of football played before the tournament and injury data during the tournament by means of standardised injury definitions and data samples for football. Results: Amateur players of registered football clubs had higher training exposure before the tournament (p < 0.001) than recreational players and had more frequently performed warm-up programmes (p < 0.001). Recreational football players showed a significantly higher overall injury incidence (p < 0.002), particularly of overuse injuries (p < 0.001), during the tournament than amateur players. In almost 75 % of players in both groups, the body region most affected by injuries and complaints was the lower extremities. Orthopaedic and trauma surgeons had the lowest overall injury incidence and anaesthetists the highest (p = 0.049) during the tournament.


For the first time, this study presents detailed information on the injury incidence and injury patterns of an amateur football tournament. Less-trained recreational players sustained significantly more injuries than better-trained amateur players, probably due to the lack of sufficient preparation before the tournament. Preventive strategies against overuse and traumatic injuries of recreational football players should start with regular training and warm-up programmes in preparation for a tournament.


Amateur football Recreational Injury Prevention Warm up Medical doctor 



Many thanks to the organisational team of the 2011 World Football Cup of Medical Doctors in Manchester, the large medical doctors’ football family, particularly the British Medical Football Team including Dr Paul Fourie and Dr Arif Kazi.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The corresponding author confirms that in the manuscript “Influence of preparation and football skill level on injury incidence during an amateur football tournament”, there is no conflict of interest. There is no sponsoring organisation. The authors have full control of all primary data and a direct review of all data by the journal is possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Koch
    • 1
  • Johannes Zellner
    • 1
  • Arne Berner
    • 1
  • Stephan Grechenig
    • 1
  • Volker Krutsch
    • 2
  • Michael Nerlich
    • 1
  • Peter Angele
    • 1
    • 3
  • Werner Krutsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Trauma SurgeryUniversity Medical Centre RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of ENTClinic NurembergNurembergGermany
  3. 3.Sporthopaedicum Straubing/RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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