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  1. Victor Lopez Jr1,2,3,4,
  2. Richard Ma1,5,
  3. Meryle Weinstein1,6,
  4. Patria Hume7,
  5. Robert Cantu8,9,10,11,12,
  6. Christian Victoria1,13,
  7. Sophie Queler1,
  8. Allen Answorth1,14,15,16
  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, Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, 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. 14Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA
  15. 15National Basketball Association, New York Knickerbockers, New York, NY, USA
  16. 16USA Basketball, Colorado Springs, CO, USA


    Background Rugby-7s growth in the United States predominantly seen in the amateur population, has very little youth rugby injury data.

    Objective To report incidence and causes for US youth Rugby-7s match injuries.

    Design Prospective descriptive epidemiology study.

    Setting The study encompassed Under-19 players in USA Rugby sanctioned tournaments (2010–2014).

    Participants A total of 3,804 US players (13–19 years old) were included over 24 tournaments, of 643 youth-division matches (140=female; 515=male) in 317 sides/teams (61=females; 256=males).

    Assessment of Risk Factors Causes in youth Rugby-7s injuries.

    Main measurement outcome Injury incidence (per 1000 player-hour (ph)) and mechanism, captured using Rugby Injury Survey & Evaluation (RISE) Report methodology. 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 Injuries combined were found at 81.9/1000 ph (n=172) (time-loss injuries=33.3/1000 ph; n=70; medical attention injuries=48.6/1000 ph; n=102; P=0.013). Males among positions, experienced higher rates of injuries (backs 81.8/1000 ph, n=77; forwards 56.7/1000 ph, n=40; RR: 1.16, P=0.053) than females (backs 65.6/1000 ph, n=17; forwards 77.1/1000 ph, n=15; RR: 0.93, P=0.642) (RR: 0.96, P=0.332). Time-loss injuries resulted in a mean severity of 35.4 days (females, 29.6 days; males, 37.6 days). Most injuries were acute (93%; RR: 2.3, P<0.001) during tackling (80.3%; RR: 1.6, P<0.001). Injuries most commonly involved the joints or ligaments (40%) and the lower extremities (39%). High incidences of head and neck injuries including concussions (overall 26%) and upper extremity injuries (29%) were seen among the youth.

    Conclusions US Rugby-7s youth had lower time-loss injury rates (33.3/1000 ph) than US amateur adult Rugby-7s (49.2–55.4/1000 ph) and international boys' Rugby-15s (35–57.2/1000 ph). Due to tackling injuries among head, neck and upper extremity, US youth would benefit from injury prevention in a tackling technique evaluation.

    • Injury

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