Risk of injury high among young goalies using adult sized soccer balls

November 28, 2001

Eager young goalies run a significant risk of injury, trying to make 'a save,' when using an adult sized ball?a practice that is all too common?finds research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

There are an estimated 200 million soccer/football players worldwide. In England and Wales 2.25 million players are registered with the Football Association. Of these, 750,000 are youth players, and an additional large but unknown number of children and young adults play informally throughout the year.

All children and young adults attending a fracture clinic in one hospital were monitored for 17 months. Those who had been injured while playing football, and who had sustained a wrist or hand fracture, were asked how the injury had occurred.

Among the 1920 new patients seen at the clinic, 29 wrist fractures were seen in 28 goalies who had been trying to "make a save." One of the goalies had fractured both wrists on separate occasions.

The average age of the injured players was just under 11 years. Most injuries occurred during the summer months, and on grass. Two thirds were sustained during informal play. In almost three quarters of incidents, an adult (size 5) ball had been in play. A junior size ball (size 4) was involved in a further 14 per cent of incidents. In 26 cases a plaster cast for around three weeks successfully treated the fracture, but three fractures required additional manipulation under anaesthetic.

An adult size 5 soccer ball weighs up to 450 g, and can be kicked at speeds of up to 25 m/second. The impact from a stitched ball, particularly when wet, is greater than that from a moulded ball. And goalkeepers are especially vulnerable to impact injury as they repeatedly take the full force of the ball on their hands.

The Football Association made recommendations on the use of appropriately sized soccer balls for young players in 1993, advising a size 4 ball for 8 to 11 year olds, and a size 3 for younger children. But these recommendations do not seem to be widely followed, say the authors.
-end-
[Distal radial fractures in young goalkeepers: a case for an appropriately sized soccer ball 2001; 35: 409]

BMJ Specialty Journals

Related Children Articles from Brightsurf:

Black and Hispanic children in the US have more severe eczema than white children
A presentation at this year's virtual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting reveals the disparities that exist for Black and Hispanic children when it comes to Atopic Dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema.

Black children with cancer three times less likely to receive proton radiotherapy than White children
A retrospective analysis led by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital has found racial disparities in the use of the therapy for patients enrolled in trials.

The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health: First Europe-wide study of children confirms COVID-19 predominately causes mild disease in children and fatalities are very rare
Children with COVID-19 generally experience a mild disease and fatalities are very rare, according to a study of 582 patients from across Europe published today in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

Children not immune to coronavirus; new study from pandemic epicenter describes severe COVID-19 response in children
- While most children infected with the novel coronavirus have mild symptoms, a subset requires hospitalization and a small number require intensive care.

How many children is enough?
Most Russians would like to have two children: a boy and a girl.

Preterm children have similar temperament to children who were institutionally deprived
A child's temperament is affected by the early stages of their life.

Only-children more likely to be obese than children with siblings
Families with multiple children tend to make more healthy eating decisions than families with a single child.

Children living in countryside outperform children living in metropolitan area in motor skills
Residential density is related to children's motor skills, engagement in outdoor play and organised sports. that Finnish children living in the countryside spent more time outdoors and had better motor skills than their age peers in the metropolitan area.

Hispanic and black children more likely to miss school due to eczema than white children
In a study that highlights racial disparities in the everyday impact of eczema, new research shows Hispanic and black children are more likely than white children to miss school due to the chronic skin disease.

Children, their parents, and health professionals often underestimate children's higher weight status
More than half of parents underestimated their children's classification as overweight or obese -- children themselves and health professionals also share this misperception, according to new research being presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, UK (April 28-May 1).

Read More: Children News and Children Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.