Objectives: To determine if athletes with a self reported history of previous injury have a higher incident injury rate than athletes without a self reported injury history.
Methods: A prospective cohort study of Classic League soccer players playing at the level under 12 through under 18. Injury history forms were mailed to all registering Classic League soccer players in the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association during 1997–2000 (n = 7000); 1483 (19%) returned the baseline questionnaire and were followed up for injuries.
Results: There were 5139 player-seasons of follow up and an estimated 171 957 athlete-exposures. More than half self reported an injury history (59.7%). Overall, the unadjusted incidence rate was 4.6 (95% confidence interval (CI) 4.3 to 4.9) incident injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures. Multivariate generalised Poisson regression modelling indicated that players with one previous injury had a twofold greater risk of incident injury (IRR = 2.6; 95% CI 2.0 to 3.3), and those with two or more previous injuries had a threefold greater risk of incident injury (IRR = 3.0; 95% CI 2.3 to 3.8) compared with athletes with no previous injuries.
Conclusions: Injury history was associated with an increased injury rate. This suggests that, even in these youth soccer players, those with an injury history may be at higher risk.