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Do non-contact injuries occur during high-speed running in elite football? Preliminary results from a new GPS and video-based method

Aiello, Francesco; Di Claudio, Christian; Fanchini, Maurizio; Impellizzeri, Franco M.; McCall, Alan; Sharp, Carwyn; Brown, Susan J.


Christian Di Claudio

Maurizio Fanchini

Franco M. Impellizzeri

Carwyn Sharp


Understanding how injuries occur (inciting circumstances) is useful for developing etiological hypotheses and prevention strategies that can be tested. The aims of this study were 1) to evaluate the feasibility of a method combining video and GPS data to estimate the speed and acceleration of activities leading to injuries; 2) to use this method to analyse the inciting circumstances leading to non-contact injuries in football players.

Retrospective descriptive study.

Data collected from 46 elite players over three seasons are included. Training and matches were video recorded and external load measures were collected through Catapult Vector S7 GPS. Injury nciting circumstances were analysed through GPS measures and visual inspection.

In total 34 non-contact injuries were analysed. Sixteen out of the seventeen hamstring injuries occurred when players were running for (median and IQR) 16.75 m (8.42–26.65 m), achieved a peak speed of 29.28 km·h−1 (26.61–31.13 km·h−1) which corresponded to 87.55% of players' maximal speed (78.5% - 89.75%). Of the three adductor injuries, one occurred while the player was decelerating without the ball, one injury occurred while the player was accelerating and controlling the ball at knee level, and one injury occurred while the player was performing an instep kick. Two quadriceps injuries occurred while the players were kicking either while walking or while running.

From the preliminary results reported in this study most hamstring injuries occurred when players ran > 25 km·h−1 and above 80% of their maximal speed. This study suggests that this novel approach can allow a detailed and standardised analysis of injury inciting circumstances.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 17, 2023
Online Publication Date Jul 22, 2023
Publication Date 2023-09
Deposit Date Jul 24, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jul 23, 2025
Print ISSN 1440-2440
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 9
Pages 465-470
Keywords Mechanism, Soccer, Sport, Muscle, Calf


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