Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology & Public Health Education

First Advisor

Dr. Dennis Caine


Objective: To study the nature and incidence rate of injuries that affect an NCAA division I Midwestern women's collegiate soccer team and to examine the relationship between injury rates and specific risk factors.

Background: Minimal research has been conducted on women's collegiate soccer injuries and specifically on the relationship of injury to the hamstring to quadriceps ratio (HQR). Past research reports that the HQR may be a risk factor for injury but it has not been tested at speeds considered more functional for soccer. Lower body agility and skin folds have not been examined as risk factors for women's soccer injuries.

Methods: The study was both retrospective and prospective in design. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval was obtained from at the University of North Dakota. Women's soccer players from a midwestern division I women's soccer team were invited to participate in this study. Once consent was obtained, baseline data were collected using medical and demographic history questionnaires. Each participant was tested on the Biodex System 2 Dynamometer to calculate the HQR, skinfold measurements were taken, and the Illinois agility test was administered. Afterwards, the soccer players were followed for an entire season. All injuries were reported and documented using a direct interview technique. Additionally, exposure to all training and competition was recorded by the researcher in terms of minutes, hours, and athletic-exposures. Once the season was over, descriptive and analytical data analyses were run to determine the nature and incidence of injury and the relation between individual incidence rates and selected risk factors.

Results: Of the 24 participants, 17 sustained a total of 28 injuries in the 2011 season. In the 2010 season, 18 of 24 participants accumulated a total of 46 injuries. During the 2011 season, overall injuries rates were 8.65 injuries per 1000 hours, 0.14 injuries per 1000 minutes, and 14.43 injuries per 1000 athletic exposures (AE). During the 2010 season the overall injury rate was 14.07 injuries per 1000 hours and 24.02 injuries per 1000 AE. The majority of the injuries involved the knee (21%), followed by the ankle (17.9%) in 2011 and the same was true for the 2010 season with the knee at 19.6% and the ankle at 17.4%. Of the total injuries in 2011, 35% were strains and the second highest were sprains at 21.4%. During the 2010 season, strains occurred most often (39.1%) followed by sprains (30.4%). Most of the injuries (85.7%) resulted in less than 8 days time loss in 2011 and it was close to the same in 2010 at 87%. Risk factor analysis was attempted using Poisson regression, but unsuccessful due to unstable data, due most likely to small sample size and unwieldy data.

Conclusion: Injury rates reported in this study are similar to those reported by previous research involving collegiate female soccer players, with the exception of the game rates from the 2010 season. Information on the distribution of injuries is more detailed in the type of injury, anatomical location of injury and clinical outcomes of injury in this study than in previous studies. All of the injury rates are reported in hours, athletic exposures and in minutes in order to make this study comparable to all the previous researchers who reported only one type of rate. This study also reports the cost of medical services provided for the injuries.