Objectives: This study describes the characteristics of injuries and high risk situations in the Norwegian professional football league during one competitive season using Football Incident Analysis (FIA), a video based method.
Methods: Videotapes and injury information were collected prospectively for 174 of 182 (96%) regular league matches during the 2000 season. Incidents where the match was interrupted due to an assumed injury were analysed using FIA to examine the characteristics of the playing situation causing the incident. Club medical staff prospectively recorded all acute injuries on a specific injury questionnaire. Each incident identified on the videotapes was cross referenced with the injury report.
Results: During the 174 matches, 425 incidents were recorded and 121 acute injuries were reported. Of these 121 injuries, 52 (43%) were identified on video including all head injuries, 58% of knee injuries, 56% of ankle injuries, and 29% of thigh injuries. Strikers were more susceptible to injury than other players and although most of the incidents and injuries resulted from duels, no single classic injury situation typical for football injuries or incidents could be recognised. However, in most cases the exposed player seemed to be unaware of the opponent challenging him for ball possession.
Conclusions: This study shows that in spite of a thorough video analysis less than half of the injuries are identified on video. It is difficult to identify typical patterns in the playing events leading to incidents and injuries, but players seemed to be unaware of the opponent challenging them for ball possession.