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Return to Play Injury Risk Associations

Comptetitive football is associated with increased injury risk and in particular the risk of incurring an injury in a match is 7-fold higher than during training. Non-contact injuries are more common and mostly muscular injuries account for 30% of all the injuries. Examples are your hamstrings and quadricep injuries to name a few.

Having a prior injury places one at an increased risk either from a re-injury or abnormal technique contributing to an increased risk of sustaining one elsewhere in a related segment of the body or the kinetic chain.

The effects are potentiated after a long layoff from play either in the post-season period, an injury or the current state the COVID-19 imposed cessation of activities. The best practice has always conformed to a gradual build-up to training loads with periodization that entails a controlled overreaching program with rest over 6 weeks or more prior to engaging in any matches.

This is an evidence based practice that has further been substantiated by a recently published article by Ekstrand et al, in a UEFA prospective cohort study on male professional football players during 16 consecutive seasons
(2002-2019) which analyzed 4805 first match appearances after a period of ≥8 days absence most of which were due to moderate to server injuries.

Injury rate in the first match exposure after a return to play was 87% higher compared to the average seasonal match injury rate (46.9 vs 25.0/1000 hours). However the odds of injury dropped 7% with each training session before the first match for muscle injuries.

TAKE HOME: As the BFA Medical guided by scientific evidence we advocate for a gradual build up to increased intensities with adequate rest periods as depicted in the BFA Return to play for Football activities guideline.

Fewer trainings before the first match are associated with a high injury risk hence Match situations or friendly games are prescribed after a considerable amount of sport related training (at-least 6 weeks) to guard against the common non-contact injuries which in some cases may be catastrophic causing a long lay-off (e.g. ACL
ruptures) and in less resourced settings may be career ending either from a delayed operation or limited rehabilitation as demanded by the nature of the injury. Therfore Be safe, start slow build up!!!



Regulations for the 2020 Debswana First Division Playoff Games

The Promotional Games for the Debswana First Division League are official competitions of the Botswana Football Association (BFA).  These Play-off Games shall be played on a point system basis. 3.0 Any rights which are not ceded by these Regulations to any club taking part in the competition shall belong to the Botswana Football Association.

Download the complete Regulations for the 2020 Debswana First Division Playoff Games;

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