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Male Football Players Fake Injury Twice as Often as Female Ones

Vital Information for Your Everyday Life

The International Federation of Association Football (that’s FIFA, despite its appearance to English speakers) took a stand in 2008 against players faking injury injury simulation, and called for “the football family to unite in denouncing injury simulation and working to eradicate this scourge from the game.”

Well, we’re sure they’ll be hearing about Daryl Rosenbaum‘s study showing that women’s leagues show half the rate of “injury simulation” than men’s leagues do.

For the latest study, video recordings of 47 televised games from two international women’s tournaments were reviewed to identify incidents in which a player behaved as if injured. Apparent injuries were considered “definite” if a player withdrew from participation within five minutes or if bleeding was visible; the remaining incidents were considered “questionable…”

“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 percent of apparent injuries met our definition for a ‘definite’ injury,” Rosenbaum said. “Also consider that we saw 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, so it looks like there may be some simulation in the women’s game…”

Although the frequency of injuries in women’s football appears to be on the rise at international levels of play, according to Rosenbaum’s research, apparent (real and faked) injuries still occur at half the frequency of men’s games and the number of “definite” injuries (13.7%) in women’s games is still twice as high as that in men’s games (7.2%). Whether interrupting play by faking injuries has any tactical advantage, Rosenbaum cannot say:

“Questionable” injuries are more likely to be associated with contact and referee sanctions than “definite” injuries, which may indicate that players may use these situations to try to deceive referees. There was no evidence that teams that did this frequently won more often, nor was there any evidence that players used injury simulation as a way to try and rest or kill time.

On a related note, we urge you not to try to use this information to your tactical advantage. It’s just some interesting statistics about football players, not evidence for broad generalizations. Except that videos of people faking football injuries are really funny.

(via Boing Boing and Science Daily.)

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.