Background In Canada, unlike many countries, youth rugby players often have their first exposure to the sport in high school (ages 15–16). There are few studies examining injuries in female high school rugby union.
Objective To describe injury rates and mechanisms among females participating in high school rugby union.
Design Prospective cohort study.
Setting Rugby pitches (Calgary, Canada).
Participants Female high school rugby players (ages 15–18) participating in 2018 (7 teams, n=214) and 2019 (7 teams, n=207) seasons.
Assessment of Risk Factors Mechanism of injury was recorded by team designates on an electronic injury report form, validated by a certified athletic therapist.
Main Outcome Measurements Training and match injuries were identified by a team designate or study therapist if the player 1) required medical attention, 2) was unable to complete the session, and/or 3) unable to participate in activity for ≥ one day.
Results There were 155 match [93.7 injuries/1000-match-hours (95%CI, 78.6–111.7)] and 85 training injuries [5.3 injuries/1000-training-hours ( 95%CI, 4.0–6.9)] across two years of injury surveillance. Match injuries most commonly occurred while tackling [62 injuries (40%) 37.5 injuries/1000-match-hours (95%CI, 27.1–51.8), being tackled [47 injuries (30%), 28.4 injuries/1000-match-hours (95%CI, 20.3–39.8)], and during a ruck/maul [12 injuries (8%), 7.3 injuries/1000-match-hours]. Training injuries most commonly occurred while tackling [20 injuries (24%), 1.2 injuries/1000-training-hours (95%CI, 0.7–2,4)], being tackled [17 injuries (20%), 1.1 injuries/1000-training-hours (95%CI, 0.7–1.7)], and running [9 injuries (11%), 0.6 injuries/1000-training-hours (95%CI, 0.3–1.0)].
Conclusions Tackling was identified as the most common mechanism of injury among female high school rugby players, with the highest rates in the active tackler during matches. Safe tackling interventions are an ideal primary prevention target to reduce the risk of injury within this population.
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