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  1. Victor Lopez1,2,3,4,
  2. Richard Ma1,5,
  3. Meryle Weinstein1,6,
  4. Patria Hume7,
  5. Robert Cantu8,9,10,11,12,
  6. Christian Victoria1,13,
  7. Samuel Haleem14,
  8. Jessica Delallo15,
  9. Allen Answorth1,16,17,18
  1. 1Rugby Research and Injury Prevention Group, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA
  2. 2Auckland University of Technology, Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, Rugby Codes Interdisciplinary Research Group, Auckland, New Zealand
  3. 3USA Rugby Empire Geographic Union Rugby Football Union, New York, NY, USA
  4. 4Northeast Rugby Academy, USOC-Community Olympic Development Program, New York, NY, USA
  5. 5University of Missouri, Missouri Orthopaedic Institute & Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory, Columbia, MO, USA
  6. 6New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, New York, NY, USA
  7. 7Auckland University of Technology, School of Sport & Recreation, Founder, Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, Founding Member SPRINZ Rugby Codes Interdisciplinary Research Group, Auckland, New Zealand
  8. 8Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
  9. 9Department of Neurosurgery and Sports Medicine, Emerson Hospital, Concord, MA, USA
  10. 10Neurologic Sports Injury Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
  11. 11Sports Legacy Institute, Waltham, MA, USA
  12. 12World Rugby, Independent Concussion Group, Dublin, Ireland
  13. 13New York University, Global Institute of Public Health, New York, NY, USA
  14. 14City University of New York, City College, New York, NY, USA
  15. 15Tulane School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA
  16. 16Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA
  17. 17National Basketball Association, New York Knickerbockers, New York, NY, USA
  18. 18USA Basketball, Colorado Springs, CO, USA


    Background Rugby-7s is growing in popularity, however there is a comparative lack of injury data.

    Objective To report incidence of contact and non-contact causes of US Rugby-7s injuries.

    Design Prospective descriptive epidemiology study.

    Setting The study encompassed U19 to elite players in USA Rugby tournaments (2010–2014).

    Participants A total of 24,418 US players (Men=17,770; Women=6.768; age: 13–49 years) were included over 57 tournaments (72 days) of 4,448 matches (Men=3,238; Women=1,261) in 2,038 teams (Men=1,474; Women=564).

    Assessment of Risk Factors Contact and non-contact causes of match injuries.

    Main measurement outcome Injury incidence (per 1000 player-hour (ph)) and mechanism, captured using Rugby Injury Survey & Evaluation (RISE) Report. Time-loss injuries=players who did not return to play the day of their injury. Medical attention injuries=players who had injuries evaluated with no absence from play. Severity=days absent before return to training/competition (including post tournament).

    Results Contact injuries (54%; n=823) occurred more often than non-contact (46%; n=697) (P<0.001). Medical attention injuries occurred more often (contact=30.4/1000 ph; non-contact=29.2/1000 ph; P<0.001), than time-loss injuries (contact=23.8/1000 ph; non-contact=16.7/1000 ph; P<0.001). Non-contact causes encountered no differences (men=48.1/1000 ph; women=46.95/1000 ph; P=0.621). Non-contact causes occurred in 20–25 year olds at 54% (n=354). Days absent were frequent among 63% with follow-up data (contact=34 days; CI: 26.5–41.3; non-contact=32 days; CI: 26.6–39.3). New acute match injuries (94%) were most common (contact 57%; non-contact 43%; P<0.001) with tackles (contact=77%; non-contact=52%), followed by open play (non-contact=32%). Ligament injuries were most common among causes (non-contact =23%; contact=30%). Similar rates among non-contact causes were found with field types (grass=46.1/1000 ph; artificial=52.4/1000 ph; P=0.467).

    Conclusions Due to the frequency of contact injuries, tackling techniques must be evaluated as an area for injury prevention in Rugby 7s. The cause of non-contact injuries with increased open-play needs attention for injury prevention and management.

    • Injury

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