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Risk factors for sport injuries in youth floorball players

Research project Sport injuries are common in sports and is one reason why athletes terminate their sport participation at early age. In floorball, traumatic ankle, and knee injuries as well as overuse injuries are common. Understanding relations between different risk factors and sport injury and develop interventions to reduce that risk is important to improve long-term sport participation. Reducing the risk of sport injury is also important for increasing young athletes’ chances of reaching the elite level.

The overall aim of the project is to contribute with new and relevant knowledge of how exercise load, health habits, and psychological and physical factors relate to sport injury incidence in young floorball players.

Head of project

Sofia Levin
Doctoral student
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2021-09-06 2026-09-04

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Psychology

Research area

Psychology

Project description

Background

Athletes participating in rapid indoor sports such as floorball and handball are facing a high risk of sport-related injury. Several previous studies have shown an increased risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury in floorball players, especially for women. In youth, primarily overuse injuries in the lower part of the body are common, and historically eye injuries. Since 2015, however, youth floorball players (age 16 and younger) are required to use sport googles to prevent eye injuries. This is as a good example showing how floorball has implemented and made practical use of research as part of developing the sport.

Data collection

The participants in this project are active floorball players, who attend high schools in Sweden with a floorball elite profile (NIU and RIG). At the start of the floorball season, a baseline survey and physical field tests are conducted for all participants. During the season, data on players' well-being and participation in training and games are collected via an app, in which participants provide responses on a weekly basis. If a player report that they have been injured during the last week and that the injury required some sort of contact with the health care system, they are followed up by a phone call through which additional information about the injury is collected using a standardized instrument.

The aim of the project

Risk factors for sports injuries is a complex area that previously mainly has focused on physical risk factors. However, in the last decades there has been an increased interest in psychological risk factors. This project's aims to understand how psychological, demographic, and physical risk factors are related to sport injury. This knowledge is important to understand why some athletes are at higher risk of injury than others and, when designing sport injury prevention programs with good adherence over time. Several sport injury prevention programs, such as Knee control, are effective to prevent anterior cruciate ligament injury if the exercises in the program are carried out continuously. A problem, however, is that many athletes and sport practitioners do not use it, despite that it substantially reduces the risk of sport injury. A final objective of this project is therefore to examine motivation for sport injury prevention and its impact on adherence to injury-preventive behaviors.

The project will make three unique contributions to the research field:

  • Generate knowledge regarding how different combinations of risk factors relate to the risk of sport injury
  • Generate new knowledge about the usefulness of field test as a screening tool for future sport injury risk
  • Generate knowledge for designing and implementing interventions to reduce the risk of sport injuries among youth floorball players