Sports Medicine Research: In the Lab & In the Field: Another Feather in the Cap of the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program (Sports Med Res)
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Another Feather in the Cap of the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program

Efficacy of the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program in the Collegiate Male Soccer Player.

Silvers-Granelli H, Mandelbaum B, Adeniji O, Insler S, Bizzini M, Pohlig R, Junge A, and Snyder-Mackler L. Am J Sports Med. 2017. [Epub Ahead of Print].

Take Home Message: Implementing the FIFA 11+ injury prevention program decreases the risk of injury among collegiate male soccer players.

Soccer is an increasingly popular contact sport, which has seen participation at all levels increase. With this increase in participation comes an increased need to identify and optimize pre-activity injury prevention programs. Therefore, Silvers-Granelli and colleagues completed a cluster randomized control trial to compare the FIFA11+ injury prevention program with a control group among collegiate men’s soccer athletes. The authors randomized 65 of the 396 NCAA Division I and II soccer teams (299 teams refused to participate). Specifically, they included teams that competed at the Division I or II level and had no history of participating in an injury prevention program. Researchers randomized teams into either a FIFA 11+ group or a control group (CG). The FIFA 11+ teams received instructional materials to implement the FIFA 11+ program. The team’s athletic trainers recorded all data during the intervention season, with an internet-based injury surveillance system. Sixty-one teams (34 out of 34 teams = control group, 27 out of 31 teams = FIFA 11+ group) completed the study. Overall the teams that completed the FIFA 11+ program had 46% and 76% lower risk of any injury or anterior cruciate ligament injury compared to the teams in the control group.

For clinicians considering implementing an injury prevention program, this article is of interest as the data suggests that the FIFA 11+ is superior at decreasing injury risk compared to a control group. For those clinicians, whose team already uses an injury-prevention, the current study provides additional evidence that the program is effective at reducing the injury rate and it should continue to be implemented. It would be interesting to see how these results would look if the study followed the teams for more than one season. To truly understand its effectiveness over time, a longer intervention time should be looked at. Furthermore, the implementation of the FIFA 11+ program in the current study was relatively unsupervised and based off instructional materials alone. Therefore, this is another study showing that it is feasible to implement an injury prevention program without direct supervision from a clinician. However, it would be interesting to see how each team deployed the FIFA 11+ program and how this affected the results within each team. This study adds to the growing body of evidence that injury prevention programs, like the FIFA 11+ program, may be one of the most effective tools we have for preventing injuries.

Questions for Discussion: Do your soccer teams use the FIFA 11+ program? If so, have you noticed a decrease in the number of injuries sustained by these athletes? Should injury prevention programs be considered part of the standard of care for youth and college athletes?

Written by: Kyle Harris
Reviewed by:  Jeffrey Driban

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Silvers-Granelli HJ, Bizzini M, Arundale A, Mandelbaum BR, & Snyder-Mackler L (2017). Does the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program Reduce the Incidence of ACL Injury in Male Soccer Players? Clinical orthopaedics and related research PMID: 28389864

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