Another example of something that sounds good, but isn’t. How many people in the world swear by their pre-game stretches? Or post-game stretches? Especially when there is so much evidence to the contrary.
A Cochrane review on the subject looked at four randomised trials and found virtually no difference in muscle soreness after exercise associated with pre-exercise stretches. Well they actually found that muscle soreness was reduced the day after, by about half a point on a 100 point scale, with a wide margin of error of about 10 points either way. Stretching after exercise did much better, with a whole 1 point difference in muscle soreness (again with a wide margin of error). Even if it were true, it is hardly worth the stretching in the first place.
Regarding injury prevention, a systematic review from 2004 showed that pre-game stretching was ineffective. This review found mixed evidence, and this review came up with nothing.
I haven’t analysed the individual studies for this topic, but I know that the outcomes are subjective and therefore open to bias, and that blinding in such studies is difficult. Therefore, I would expect these studies to have enough methodological weaknesses to allow investigator bias to show a positive result. The fact that they haven’t been able to do this in any consistent way means that it is very unlikely that stretching does anything of any benefit at all; it just sounds good.