Udeležba IŠM na seminarju v Nyonu - Inštitut za športno medicino Maribor

Udeležba IŠM na seminarju v Nyonu

2013/14 Elite Club Injury Study


UEFA has issued its 2013/14 Elite Club Injury Study, and European club doctors have come together for a seminar focusing on the questions raised by this crucial information source.


UEFA and doctors from Europe’s leading clubs have come together for a seminar in Nyon focusing on the latest issues raised by, and the results of, the 2013/14 UEFA Elite Club Injury Study – a crucial source of information on injuries specific to football – as well as other matters of mutual interest.

The UEFA Elite Club Injury Study provides clubs, associations and the scientific community with important data that will help them in their own work in treating and preventing player injuries. The study was launched in 2001 and is coordinated by UEFA Medical Committee vice-chairman Professor Jan Ekstrand.

The project initiated by UEFA attempts to help reduce the frequency and severity of physical damage that occurs during training or matches, and which results in a player being unable to participate fully in training or matches. Consequently, the study contributes to increasing footballers’ safety and physical well-being. Over 14 seasons, the study has recorded some 10,000 injuries, and a total of 41 clubs from 16 different countries have taken part, including the 2014/15 participants.

The latest report contains results from July 2013 to May 2014, and features data from 29 clubs who provided full information over 2013/14. It has been divided into nine sections and includes data relating to exposure, general injury patterns, training injuries, match injuries, severe injuries, muscle/tendon injuries, joint/ligament injuries, re-injuries, and squad attendance/availability and absence. The study is anonymous so that clubs only see their own data and the average score in each area.

Each injury section is split into four sub-sections:

Injury patterns examines the number of injuries over the season and their distribution in terms of, among other things, location, type, mechanism, contact or non-contact, severity and recurring injury rates.

Injury incidence analyses the number of injuries relative to training and matches, thereby allowing the individual injury rate to be evaluated.

Injury burden looks at the frequency and severity (in days’ absence) of injuries, showing the injury burden for a player and consequences for the team.

Days’ absence gives current data such as total number of days lost as a result of specific injuries and the minimum, maximum and average absence for this injury.

“When we first began the study, some clubs were reluctant to be involved, for reasons of confidentiality, and some saw the delivery of data as extra work,” Professor Ekstrand told UEFA.org. “Now all the clubs that are invited want to participate. They see the usefulness of the study because they get a lot of information back.”

Since 2001, the scope and content of the study has developed constantly. “The most important [development] for the injury study is that there are obviously other factors involved in avoiding injuries at elite level than we in medicine thought of before,” Ekstrand added. “We started [14 years ago] by looking at muscle injuries, counting knee ligament injuries and so on. Now there are the mental factors, the well-being of players, internal communication between the different parts of a club – the medical team and coaching staff, for example – plus coaching/training methods and the load on players.

“There has been a tremendous development in football medicine in the last 15 years,” Ekstrand told the meeting. “Football is the sport that is leading the development of sports medicine, and this is being initiated by international organisations such as UEFA.”

Ekstrand was also joined by UEFA’s chief technical officer Ioan Lupescu for a presentation on the vital relationship between the medical team and the coach. A major key to injury prevention in a club, they agreed, is teamwork between the coaching, medical and management staffs, with coaches ideally showing interest in medical questions and being ready to keep open strong communication lines.