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Epidemiology of injuries in outdoor and indoor hockey players over one season: a prospective cohort study
  1. Karsten Hollander1,2,
  2. Kai Wellmann1,3,
  3. Christine zu Eulenburg4,
  4. Klaus-Michael Braumann1,
  5. Astrid Junge5,6,
  6. Astrid Zech3
  1. 1 Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Institute of Human Movement Science, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  2. 2 Department of Sports and Rehabilitation Medicine, BG Trauma Hospital of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  3. 3 Institute of Sport Science, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany
  4. 4 Department of Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  5. 5 Medical School Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  6. 6 Schulthess Klinik and Swiss Concussion Center, Zurich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Karsten Hollander, Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Institute of Human Movement Science, University of Hamburg, Hamburg 20148, Germany; karsten.hollander{at}


Objectives To determine the incidence and characteristics of hockey (‘field hockey’) injuries over the course of one outdoor and indoor season. Comparisons of female versus male players, outdoor versus indoor season and match versus practice were performed.

Methods Female and male teams of the first, second, third, regional and youth divisions were recruited among a local hockey association in Northern Germany, and followed over an indoor and an outdoor season. Exposure times and location, type, severity and cause of injuries during practice and matches were documented by the coaches or medical staff and collected weekly. Prevalence and incidence rates were calculated.

Results Of the 232 players (mean±SD age 20.7±4.7 years, 68.1% male, 31.9% first division), 84 players (36.2%) suffered 108 new injuries during the season. The overall incidence rate was 3.7 injuries per 1000 player hours (95% CI 3.0 to 4.4). The injury incidence was lower in practice (2.7 per 1000 player practice hours, 95% CI 2.0 to 3.3) than in matches (9.7 per 1000 player match hours, 95% CI 6.8 to 12.7), and was similar for female and male players as well as during the outdoor and the indoor season. Most injuries affected the lower limb (thigh, knee and ankle) and occurred without contact (58.3%). Severe injuries (n=34; 31.5%) were predominantly located at the knee and hand/finger.

Conclusion Hockey players have a high prevalence and incidence of injuries, especially at the lower limb.

  • epidemiology
  • field hockey
  • prospective study design
  • injury
  • hockey

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  • Contributors All authors participated in the conception and design of the study, interpretation of results and drafting of the manuscript. KW was responsible for data collection, and AJ for the development of reporting files and questionnaires. KH wrote the first draft of the manuscript and CzE conducted the statistical analysis. All authors have contributed to, read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This study was funded by the German Federal Institute for Sport Science (grant number 2515BI0111).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval has been obtained from the ethics committee of the Medical Association of Hamburg (protocol number PV4893).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.