Men fake soccer injuries more than women: Study

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo lies on the pitch during their qualifying soccer match against Norway...

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo lies on the pitch during their qualifying soccer match against Norway for the Euro 2012 at Luz stadium in Lisbon June 4, 2011. (REUTERS/Rafael Marchante)

SHARON LEM, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:03 PM ET

TORONTO - Turns out, women just aren't as good as men at faking it.

A study on international soccer players exaggerating pain shows faking soccer injuries at the men's international level is a valid concern, while their female counterparts pretended to be hurt much less frequently.

The goal of the study was to determine the frequency of apparent injuries in women's international soccer and estimate what proportion of them were authentic.

"It is clear from this study that female players don't fake injuries at the same rate as their male counterparts," Dr. Daryl Rosenbaum, assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre, said Wednesday.

Injuries are common in women's soccer and seem to be on the rise at the international level, Rosenbaum said.

The study viewed video recordings of 47 televised games from two international women's tournaments to identify situations in which a player behaved as if injured.

Injuries were considered "definite" if a player withdrew from participation within five minutes or if bleeding was visible, while the remaining injuries were considered "questionable."

A total of 270 apparent female injuries were observed at a rate of 5.74 per game, compared to men's injuries which were seen at a rate of 11.26 per game.

The proportion of apparent injuries that were classified as "definite" were nearly twice as high for women at 13.7%, compared to 7.2% for men.

"While it was difficult to know for certain if a player had a true injury or was faking or embellishing, we found that only 13.7% of apparent injuries met our definition for a "definite" injury," Rosenbaum said.

The "definite" injury rate for women was 0.78 per match compared to 4.96 for "questionable" injuries.

The study observed six apparent injuries per match in the 2007 Women's World Cup but team physicians from the tournament reported only 2.3 injuries per match, Rosenbaum said.

"Questionable" injuries are more likely to be associated with contact and referee sanctions than "definite" injuries, which may indicate the players may use these situations to try to deceive referees, he said.

The study is published in the Research in Sports Medicine journal.


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