HITG @ Concussion Consensus Conference

HITG @ Concussion Consensus Conference


HITG presents results on concussions in elite football

The 5th International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport took place in Berlin last month. Almost the entire Head in the Game team took part, contributing with various presentations to the conference. Among other studies, we presented our analysis of 17 years of injury data on the frequency and characteristics of head and neck injuries in elite football. Since 1998 all injuries during FIFA tournaments and the football competitions of the Olympic Games were monitored by the FIFA – Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC). In total, team physicians reported on 2107 matches and 4756 injuries. Here are some of the most interesting results:


  • Neck injuries were rare (0.02 per match or 0.51 per 1000 player hours) while head injuries were more frequent (0.34 per match or 10.30 per 1000 player hours).
  • Head/neck injuries were more frequent in female (18%) than in male (14%) players.
  • In male players the incidence of head/neck injuries decreased over time, while the incidence of concussions followed the opposite trend.
  • In both male and female players, the concussion incidence was about twice as high in U19/20 players compared to U17 or adult players.
  • 60% of concussions resulted in subsequent absence from training or competition; however, no career-ending injuries were reported.

These results emphasize the importance of evaluating a potential for long-term effects of concussions in elite football, particularly in the higher risk group of female players. Support this goal and register to take part in our study here.


The goal of the Head in the Game project is to evaluate and improve long-term health in elite men's and women's football. The main question we seek to answer is: does a professional football career have any consequences for the musculoskeletal or neurocognitive health of former players?

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