Common Injuries for Youth Soccer Players

May 23, 2023

Children aren’t always the most graceful creatures, especially learning to play a coordinated sport such as soccer. Amidst the learning and the fun, injuries may happen but there’s youth soccer protective gear to help with that.

Statistics regarding youth soccer player injuries

For adolescents, the injury rate was found to be 3.7 to 11.1 injuries per 1000 hours of training, but 9.5 to 48.7 injuries per 1000 hours in-game. The likelihood of injury rises with age. For players younger than twelve, they saw one to 1.6 injuries per 1000 hours while adolescents saw 2.6 to 15.3 injuries per 1000 hours.

There’s a clear link between the risk of injury, age, and whether it’s at practice or game time. This is likely because the older the player is, the more strength and momentum they have, and players will exert themselves more and try harder in a game. Ultimately, youth injuries in soccer are rising, but there are ways to keep children safer.

Common injuries for children playing soccer


Some might think a young player can run and run non-stop because they’re young and have lots of energy. However, this isn’t good for their growing bones, muscles, and ligaments. Youth players should be resting, recovering, and taking advantage of breaks during practice and games.

When overuse occurs, it normally affects the legs, jumper’s knee, shin splints, tendonitis, and runner’s knee, lots of things that can be avoided. If the proper youth soccer protective gear isn’t worn, and rest time isn’t available, youth players are at risk of developing injuries that can stick with them for a long time. Youth soccer safety equipment, like compression shorts, can help with lactic acids, post-game recovery, and blood flow so the muscles and ligaments have better support.


The rates of concussions in youth players are rising, especially among girls. Concussions are a result of heading the ball, head-to-head contact with other players, or, sometimes, hard falls. Heading the ball is the worst culprit. Movements that cause a sudden jolt to the head or jerking motion in the neck are leading ties to concussions or neck injuries. Concussions can cause nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, and more. But, ultimately, they mean the player must stop playing soccer until healed to protect them from further injury.

Youth soccer headgear can help keep players safe from concussions. Concussions are also easier to get once they’ve happened once, so players at a higher risk will tend to wear youth soccer headgear to keep them safer. Find out how to buy youth soccer headgear as a parent.

Another avoidance technique would be to keep youth players from heading the ball until they’re ten to twelve years old—despite how much they might want to. At that age, they’ll have stronger core and neck muscles along with the proper technique of heading to protect themselves from injury.

Sprains and fractures

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are common, especially with adolescent girls, depending on their hormones, anatomy, and play style. Another common youth injury is a meniscus tear as strain is put on the knee. Hip injuries are also a threat since the movements in soccer are largely focused on the bottom half of the body. Any body part experiencing extra strain on the muscle, tendon, or joint is at risk of developing an injury.

Youth soccer injury avoidance techniques

There are plenty of ways to lower the risks of injuries in youth soccer players. As mentioned, frequent breaks and recovery time should be taken to give growing bodies what they need to heal.

Players shouldn’t overdo it, leading to overuse injuries. They should play no more hours in a week than their age. It’s also best to take one to two days a week as rest days, and a total of three months off during the year, which can be divided into smaller chunks.

Get kids into the right youth soccer protective gear. Shin guards help protect children from fractures, and superficial wounds from contact. Compression equipment helps store energy, improve dynamic movements, process lactic acid, increase blood flow, and reduce recovery time. Headgear and mouthguards help protect children from concussions, neck injuries, dental injuries, and other head injuries.

Make a difference in your child’s soccer experience with youth soccer safety equipment. Check out the options at Storelli today.

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