OBJECTIVE: To document the incidence of injury in 6-15 year olds playing rugby union, rugby league, and netball, and to identify the common mechanisms, sites, severity, and time of injury. METHODS: Cross sectional data were collected by trained observers who watched 258 games of rugby union, netball, and rugby league over a four week period. The condition of the injured participants was monitored until recovery. RESULTS: In total, 5174 players were observed and an injury rate of 18 per 1000 player hours was calculated. Of all observed injuries, 29% required some form of medical treatment. A significant difference (p<0.05) in the distribution of injury over the four quarters of the games was recorded, most occurring in the first three quarters. In total, 81% of the injuries were classified as contact injuries, and these mainly occurred through direct contact with the opposition. Of all observed injuries, 27% were recurrent. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of injury in rugby union, netball, and rugby league is low for children aged between 6 and 15 years relative to adult rates.
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