Over 9,000 concussions occur annually in intercollegiate soccer in the United States with little known about the incidence of mechanisms (e.g., collisions) and possible factors (e.g., sex) associated with each mechanism. Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the mechanism of injury (MOI) and examine factors associated with greater risk for specific MOIs involving concussions in collegiate soccer players. Methods: Participants included 3,288 collegiate soccer players from 28 institutions across four competitive seasons, 2014–17. MOIs were documented for 262 soccer-related concussions during the study and placed into one of four categories: collisions, unintentional contact, aerial challenges, and others. Results: 70% of the concussions occurred in DI soccer players. Collisions and unintentional contact were the MOIs that resulted in 66.5% of all concussions. DI and DIII soccer players sustained more concussions by unintentional contact versus collisions and aerial challenges when compared to their DII counterparts. Defenders were more likely than midfielders to sustain concussions by aerial challenges than collisions. As expected, the field players experienced more concussions as a result of collisions, unintentional contact, and aerial challenges when compared to goalkeepers. Conclusions: Future research should explore preventive strategies for decreasing collisions, especially during aerial challenges while heading the soccer ball, and unintentional contacts from errant balls in soccer in order to decrease concussion risk.
- Repetitive head impacts
- aerial challenges