Background Sport is a mass phenomenon with different stakeholders, one of them the international federations. As a sport, judo can give advantages to a population in controlling negative effects of a passive way of life. Therefore it is necessary to lower the burden of injuries, especially because injuries are acting against the health promotion goal of sport. As a consequence the first step is to gather knowledge about frequency and nature of injuries in a specific sport to take influence on it.
Objective To publish the statistical data about injuries at top ranking Judo competitions; to structure them in a comprehensive way; to use them for education purposes and injury prevention programs.
Design An anonymous form detailing different aspect of judo injuries has been designed. As definition of injury the medical commission considered every medical intervention on or outside the mat during the whole period of a competition. Each injury has been evaluated only through medical doctors. All registered injuries were categorized in 12 categories. Since the beginning of the prospective data collection, the medical commission used the same way of counting the lesions, giving continuity and consistency to the database.
Setting Female and male Judo fights from European Championships, World Championships, Grand Prix and Grand Slams. The amount of Judoka registered is 24'317. This statistic is compiling the results of 99 competitions during the 2003–2011 period, with a yearly mean of 11 competitions monitored.
Results The injury ratio including the minor bleedings are identical in female and in male Judoka and stays by 6%; without the skin scratches, the total injury rate during the high-level Judo events only makes 3,6% of the contestants. Of all the medical interventions two third happened on the mat. The majority of the athletes could be taken care in the competition hall. The upper part of the body represents more than 80% of the interventions.
Conclusions The IJF injury database gives a detailed insight in high-level Judo injury risk on the Field of Play.
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