These are good news coming out from a new study in Norwegian childrens football published in American Journal of Sports Medicine.
The so far largest prospective cohort of young football players (6-16 years) has been followed for injuries in two districts of southeast Norway.
In the 2005 seson, approximately 2000 young players from 121 teams were involved in an extensive injury and exposure registration carried out by 13 research physical therapists.
A total of 159 players sustained 200 injuries. The overall injury risk was nearly twice as high among older players (13-16 years; 2.6 injuries per 1000 hours, 95% CI, 2.2-3.0) than among younger players (6-12 years; 1.6 injuries per 1000 hours, 95% CI, 1.2-1.9). The injuries recorded in the youngest group were few and mainly mild.
The authors could conclude that the injury risk among young players (6-12 years) playing organized 5- or 7-a-side soccer is low; lower than among adolescents and much lower than injury risk at the elite level.
In other words, while female elite teams on average suffer from 17 injuries per season per team, the youngest age group experience only 0.5 injuries per season per team.
The authors of this paper are Anne Froholdt, Odd-Egil Olsen and Roald Bahr.
Read the paper.