Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Rehabilitation and Movement Science

Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Timothy Tourville

Second Advisor

Susan Kasser


FIFA, warm-up, fitness, FitnessGram, middle school, Vermont


Introduction: Lower extremity injuries, specifically anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are prevalent in adolescent sports. The FIFA 11+ injury-prevention program has been shown to decrease lower extremity injuries in several sports settings. There is limited literature regarding the effects of the FIFA 11+ on fitness variables, especially among middle school students. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively evaluate if a modified FIFA 11+ warm-up protocol has any effect on cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, and flexibility at two Vermont middle schools with different physical education class schedules.

Materials and Methods: Outcome data was obtained from the FitnessGram assessment, which is utilized by all Vermont middle schools to track trends in youth fitness levels. The effects of the modified warm-up protocol on cardiovascular endurance (PACER test), muscular endurance (curl-up test), and flexibility (sit-and-reach) at Williston Central School (WCS) were compared to age-matched non-intervention year FitnessGram data at WCS and to intervention year FitnessGram data at Shelburne Community School (SCS).

Results: Statistical analysis for WCS comparing data from the non-intervention and intervention years demonstrated a significant decrease in PACER score (p < 0.001), a non-significant decrease in curl-up (p = 0.207), and a non-significant increase in sit-and-reach scores (p = 0.033) during the year the warm-up protocol intervention was implemented compared to the non-intervention year. The differences in pre- to post-test scores in the intervention year demonstrated a significant decrease in PACER score (p < 0.001), a significant increase in curl-up (p = 0.030), and a significant increase in sit-and-reach scores (p < 0.001). Throughout the intervention year at SCS, PACER and sit-and-reach scores decreased (p = 0.18 and 0.31, respectively) and curl-ups increased (p = 0.96), although these changes were not statistically significant. The declines in PACER score were significant and larger in WCS compared to SCS.

Discussion: The results of this study indicate that utilization of a prolonged injury-prevention warm-up program in lieu of organized physical education activities traditionally completed during physical education classes at these middle schools may have a deleterious effect on some fitness-related outcomes. It is important to note that this is a small, retrospective investigation and is hypothesis-generating; however, a larger-scale randomized controlled trial should be performed to validate these findings. This information may be used to alter the modified FIFA 11+ warm-up protocol to be effective in both injury prevention and improving fitness among middle schoolers.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.