Forecasting football injuries by combining screening, monitoring and machine learning

TitelForecasting football injuries by combining screening, monitoring and machine learning
MedientypJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AutorenHecksteden A, Schmartz GPierre, Egyptien Y, der Fünten KAus, Keller A, Meyer T
JournalSci Med Footb
Date Published2023 Aug
SchlüsselwörterHumans, Machine Learning, Male, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Soccer

Identifying players or circumstances associated with an increased risk of injury is fundamental for successful risk management in football. So far, time-constant and volatile risk factors are generally considered separately in either a screening (constant) or a monitoring (volatile) approach each resulting in a restricted set of explanatory variables. Consequently, improvements in predictive accuracy may be expected when screening and monitoring data are combined, especially when analysed with current machine learning (ML) techniques.This trial was designed as a prospective observational cohort study aiming to forecast non-contact time-loss injuries in male professional football (soccer). Injuries were registered according to the Fuller consensus. Gradient boosting with ROSE upsampling within a leave-one-out cross-validation was used for data analysis. The hierarchical data structure was considered throughout. Different splits of the original dataset were used to probe the robustness of results.Data of 88 players from 4 teams and 51 injuries could be analysed. The cross-validated performance of the gradient boosted model (ROC area under the curve 0.61) was promising and higher compared to models without integration of screening data. Importantly, holdout test set performance was similar (ROC area under the curve 0.62) indicating prospect of generalizability to new cases. However, the variation of predictive accuracy and feature importance with different splits of the original dataset reflects the relatively low number of events.It is concluded that ML-based injury forecasting based on the integration of screening and monitoring data is promising. However, external prospective verification and continued model development are required.

Alternate JournalSci Med Footb
PubMed ID35757889