Four studies were included in the review: one RCT, one controlled trial and two time-series studies. Some studies reported the numbers of teams involved rather than the numbers of players.
The RCT included in the study was assessed as being of poor quality, while the remaining three studies were assessed as being of moderate quality.
The one RCT included in the review (n=180) evaluated a seven-part programme that involved training alterations, equipment alterations, prophylactic taping of previous injury sites, rehabilitation programmes, the exclusion of at-risk players and information delivery to coaches and players, all under the supervision of doctors and physiotherapists. After 6 months' follow-up, teams in the intervention group had significantly fewer injuries per month than teams in the control group (P<0.001).
The controlled trial assessed a proprioceptive training programme and found a significant reduction in anterior cruciate ligament injuries in the intervention group (P<0.001).
One time-series study (n=4,000) found that regulatory changes produced reductions in the incidence of heat exhaustion per 1,000 player-hours.
One time-series study (one team) found that strength training reduced injury rates.