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Goal Post Injuries in Soccer

A Laboratory and Field Testing Analysis of a Preventive Intervention

David H. Janda,*+ MD, Cynthia Bir*+, MS, RN, Bart Wild,* Steve Olson, $ and Robert N. Hensinger, || MD

From *The Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery Associates, + Catherine McAuley Health Systems, and Departments of $ Recreational Sports and || Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Soccer is the most popular team sport worldwide with an estimated 40 million amateur participants. The most common scenario for fatalities within the sport of soccer is related to impact with the goal post. This study focuses on two case studies, a laboratory testing phase and a field testing phase of preventive equipment, which can be utilized around the goal in order to prevent injury within the game of soccer. Horizontal and vertical impact testing in the laboratory revealed a diminution in force with protective padding about the goal post between 31 and 63%. (p<0.05) This data was found to be a statistically significant diminution in force at all temperatures. A total of 471 games were monitored in the field testing phase of the study. Soccer teams participating in youth, teen, and adult soccer leagues were included in the field phase of the study. There were seven collisions with no injuries recorded during the entire three year study period. The utilization of padded goal posts within the game of soccer has been documented to reduce the possibility of injury, both in the laboratory phase and in the field testing phase.

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Copyright 2001 The Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine. All rights reserved.