Original paper| Volume 15, ISSUE 1, P14-18, January 2012

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Video analysis of craniofacial soccer incidents: A prospective study

Published:October 03, 2011DOI:


      Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the occurrence of incidents involving the craniofacial region during Brazilian Professional Soccer League matches. The mechanisms of these incidents and the association between their characteristics and severity were also analyzed. Design: Prospective Epidemiology Study. Methods: A total of 113 first division matches of the Brazilian Soccer League were analyzed in 2009. Data collected included incident type, site affected, causing agent, severity, player position, field zone, referee decision and time of the match when the incident took place. Descriptive analysis considered absolute and relative frequencies and 95% confidence intervals. Fisher Exact Tests were used to test associations (p ≤ 0.05). Results: Out of all matches, in 84.1% at least one craniofacial region related incident happened, totaling 227 incidents (mean of 2.0 per match). With reference to incident mechanisms and characteristics, 91.2% were hits and the most affected site was the face (70.0%). The most frequent causing agent was the upper extremity (59.5%) and the most frequently affected player was the striker (31.7%). The incident severity was associated with player position (p < 0.01), the causing agent (p < 0.01), field zone (p < 0.01), site affected (p = 0.03) and incident type (p < 0.01). Conclusions: Soccer presented a high number of incidents against head and face during professional practice in Brazil, representing a real risk to athletes. Preventive strategies should be focused on game rule observance and “fair play”.


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