Background/aim Recent rule changes regarding the safety of basketball athletes necessitate up-to-date reports of injury incidence. This study describes the epidemiology of injuries in men's and women's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball during the 2009/2010–2014/2015 seasons.
Methods Basketball injury data originate from the 2009/2010–2014/2015 academic years from the NCAA Injury Surveillance Program (NCAA-ISP) from 78 men's and 74 women's NCAA basketball programmes which provided 176 and 181 team-seasons, respectively. A reportable injury occurred during organised practice or competition and required attention from an athletic trainer (AT) or physician. Injury rates, injury proportions and rate ratios (RRs) were calculated. All 95% CIs not containing 1.0 were considered statistically significant.
Results A total of 2308 and 1631 injuries were reported in men's and women's basketball, respectively, for injury rates of 7.97 and 6.54/1000 athlete-exposures (AEs). The rate was higher in men than women (RR=1.22; 95% CI 1.15 to 1.30). Non-time-loss (NTL) injuries (resulting in participation restriction time under 24 hours) accounted for 64.8% and 53.6% of men's competition and practice injuries, respectively, and 53.9% and 51.3% of women's competition and practice injuries, respectively. Injuries to the lower extremity were the most common in competitions (men: 54.9%; women: 59.0%) and practices (men: 62.4%; women: 67.3%). The most common injury in men's and women's basketball was ankle sprain (17.9% and 16.6%, respectively).
Conclusions NTL injuries account for over half of all injuries in basketball. Most injuries were lower extremity injuries, specifically ankle sprains. While rule changes have been implemented to make basketball safer, continued research is needed to assess the effectiveness of these changes.
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