Soccer knee injuries are common and adolescent girls are particularly at risk. This investigation compared and contrasted anthropometric, fitness, agility, playing experience, ankle/knee injury history, and footwear between adolescent female and male soccer players, and compared them with selected age- and gender-matched norms. Two soccer clubs (1 F, 1 M, 16 members each) participated in this investigation. Boys were stronger, taller, leaner, and more agile, and had more endurance, while girls had greater musculotendinous extensibility (p <= 0.001). Female lean body mass standardization produced nonsignificant (p > 0.05) torque or single-leg broad jump differences. No differences were found for abdominal muscle endurance. Ankle/knee injury history revealed nonsignificant differences. Girls had less ankle plantar flexor extensibility (p < 0.001). This may provide them compensatory dynamic joint stability for injury prevention in the presence of commonly related differences in knee muscle torque production, knee biomechanics, body fat %, and footwear fit.
(C) 1997 National Strength and Conditioning Association