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Community football players’ attitudes towards protective equipment—a pre-season measure

Abstract

Background: The Australian football injury prevention project (AFIPP) was a randomised controlled trial examining the effects of protective equipment on injury rates in Australian Football.

Objective: To present the results of the AFIPP baseline survey of community football players’ attitudes towards protective equipment.

Methods: Teams of players were recruited from the largest community football league in Victoria, Australia, during the 2001 playing season; 301 players were enrolled in the study and all were surveyed before the season began about their attitudes towards protective headgear and mouthguards.

Results: Almost three quarters of the players (73.6%) reported wearing mouthguards during the previous playing season (year 2000) compared with only 2.1% wearing headgear. The most common reasons for not wearing headgear and mouthguards (in non-users) were: “I don’t like wearing it” (headgear: 44.8%; mouthguards: 30.6%), and “It is too uncomfortable” (headgear: 40.7%; mouthguards: 45.8%).

Conclusions: The higher mouthguard usage reflects the favourable attitudes towards mouthguards by Australian football players generally. Similarly, the low headgear usage reflects the low acceptance of this form of protection in this sport. Further research should be directed towards establishing the reasons why players seem to believe that headgear plays a role in injury prevention yet few wear it.

  • AFIPP, Australian football injury prevention project
  • PPE, personal protective equipment
  • community Australian football
  • protective equipment

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