Anthropometric injury risk factors in elite-standard youth soccer

G L J Kemper, A van der Sluis, M S Brink, C Visscher, W G P Frencken, M.T. Elferink-Gemser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aim of the study was to investigate whether an increased risk of injury occurrence can be determined through frequent anthropometric measurements in elite-standard youth soccer players. Over the course of one season, we followed 101 male elite-standard youth soccer players between 11 and 19 years of age. Height and body mass were monitored at monthly measurement intervals and fat percentage was assessed every 3 months by use of the sum of skinfold method. Growth in height (cm), alternations in body mass index (kg/m(2)), fat percentage and fat-free mass index (kg/m(2)) were calculated. Injuries were recorded in accordance with the recommendations of the FIFA Consensus Model for Injury Registration. Odds ratio scores and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using binary logistic regression analyses. The following anthropometric injury risk factors were identified: ≥ 0.6 centimeter growth per month (p=0.03; OR=1.63; 95% CI: 1.06-2.52), ≥ 0.3 kg/m(2) increase of body mass index value per month (p=0.03; OR=1.61; 95% CI: 1.04-2.49) and low fat percentage; i. e., < 7% for players aged 11-16 and < 5% for players over 16 years (p=0.01; OR=1.81; 95% CI: 1.18-2.76). Individual monitoring of anthropometrics provides useful information to determine increased risk of injury occurrence in elite-standard youth soccer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1112-1117
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • anthropometry
  • body height
  • body mass index
  • children
  • soccer
  • injuries


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