Isla J. Shill MSc
Stephen W. West PhD
Stacy Sick BSc
Kathryn Schneider, PT PhD
Brent E. Hagel, PhD
Kati Pasanen, PT, MSc, PhD
J. Preston Wiley, MD
Carolyn A. Emery, PT, PhD
Amanda M. Black, CAT©
Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Canada; Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Canada; O’Brien Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary, Canada; Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Canada; Sport Medicine Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Canada; Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada; Department of Paediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada; McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health, University of Calgary, Canada; Tampere Research Center of Sports Medicine, UKK Institute, Tampere, Finland.;
Objective: To describe injury and concussion epidemiology in female high school rugby.
Study Design: Two-year prospective cohort study.
Participants: 214 (Year 1) and 207 (Year 2) female high school rugby players from Calgary, Canada (total 421 player-years).
Methods: SHRed Injuries (Surveillance in High Schools to Reduce Injuries) surveillance platform was used during the 2018/2019 seasons. Injury report forms were completed and validated by an athletic therapist. Team designates tracked player exposure hours using weekly exposure forms (player participation hours). Injury definitions included injuries requiring medical attention and/or time-loss and all suspected concussions. All players with a suspected concussion were referred to a study physician for assessment. Injury rates (IR) were estimated based on Poisson regression analyses (considering cluster by team).
Results: In total, 155 match injuries (IR=93.7 injuries/1000-match-hours, 95%CI:78.6-11.7) and 85 training injuries (IR=5.3 injuries/1000-training-hours, 95%CI:4.0-6.9) were recorded. The most common injury location was the head for matches (69, 45%) and training (17, 21%). The most common injury type was concussion for match (62, 40%) and sprain for training (24, 29%). Tackling or being tackled accounted for 109 (70%) match and 37 (44%) training injuries. Tackling-related IRs were the highest mechanism of injury (IR=37.5 injuries/1000-match-hours, 95%CI:27.5-51.8 and 1.2 injuries/1000-training-hours, 95%CI:0.7-2.4). In total, 62 match concussions (IR=37.5 concussions/1000-match-hours, 95% CI:26.8-52.3) and 16 training concussions (IR=1.0 concussions/1000-training-hours, 95%CI:0.7-1.4) occurred. 78% of match and 56% of training were diagnosed by a physician. Tackling-related concussions were the most common by mechanism in matches (IR=18.1 concussions/1000-match-hours, 95% CI:11.4-28.6)
Annual Injury Prevention Symposium, hosted by the Steadman Philippon Research
Institute and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee
and being tackled in training was the most common mechanism (IR=0.4 concussions/1000- training-hours, 95% CI:0.2-0.8).
Conclusions: The injury and concussion rates presented in this cohort are high.Tackle-related mechanisms accounted for the highest proportion of injuries. Prevention strategies (e.g., tackle policy change, tackle-training programs, neuromuscular training warm-up) should be explored to increase sport safety.