A Warm-Up Program to Reduce Injuries in Youth Field Hockey Players: A Quasi-Experiment

Saulo Delfino Barboza, Joske Nauta, Carolyn Emery, Willem van Mechelen, Vincent Gouttebarge, Evert Verhagen

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18 Citations (Scopus)


CONTEXT: Field hockey is popular worldwide; however, it entails a risk of injury. Injuries hamper players' participation in the sport and impose a burden on public health. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effectiveness of a structured exercise program among youth field hockey players on the injury rate, severity, and burden. DESIGN: Quasi-experimental study. SETTING: On field during 1 season of field hockey (October 2016 through June 2017). PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: A convenience sample of 22 teams (291 players): 10 teams (135 players, mean age = 11.5 years [95% confidence interval (CI) = 11.2, 11.7 years]) in the intervention group and 12 teams (156 players, mean age = 12.9 years [95% CI = 12.6, 13.2 years]) in the control group. INTERVENTION(S): The Warming-up Hockey program, a sex- and age-specific, structured, evidence-informed warm-up program consisting of a preparation phase (ie, agility and cardiovascular warm-up exercises), movement skills (ie, stability and flexibility exercises), and sport-specific skills (ie, speed and strength exercises in field hockey situations). Participants in the control group performed their usual warm-up routines. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Injury rate (ie, the number of injuries per 1000 player-hours of field hockey exposure), severity (ie, days of player time-loss), and burden on athletes' availability to play (ie, days of time loss due to injury per 1000 player-hours of field hockey exposure). RESULTS: The injury rate was lower in the intervention group (hazard ratio of 0.64 [95% CI = 0.38, 1.07]); however, this result was not statistically significant. The severity of injuries was similar in both groups (t statistic P = .73). The burden of injuries on players' field hockey participation was lower in the intervention group (difference of 8.42 [95% CI = 4.37, 12.47] days lost per 1000 player-hours of field hockey). CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to the Warming-up Hockey program was not significantly associated with a lower injury rate. No reduction was observed in the severity of injuries alone; however, the burden of injuries on players' field hockey participation was lower in the intervention group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-383
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Adolescents
  • Athletic injuries
  • Field hockey
  • Injury prevention
  • Neuromuscular training
  • Quasi-experimental design
  • Risk management
  • Sports

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