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451 Who? What? Where? Why? Describing the patterns of injury in high school male collision sports
  1. Stephen West1,2,
  2. Eric Gibson1,
  3. Mark Patrick Pankow1,
  4. Amanda Black1,2,3,4,
  5. Carolyn Emery1,2,3,4,5,6,7
  1. 1Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Canada, Calgary, Canada
  2. 2O’Brien Institute of Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  3. 3Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Canada, Calgary, Canada
  4. 4Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Canada, Calgary, Canada
  5. 5McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health, University of Calgary, Canada, Calgary, Canada
  6. 6Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada, Calgary, Canada
  7. 7Department of Paediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada, Calgary, Canada


Background Collision sports (Canadian football, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby) are popular among Canadian male youth, however it is recognised that collision sports are associated with a high risk of injury.

Objective To describe the patterns of collision sport-related injury in Canadian male high school athletes.

Design Secondary analysis of a cross-sectional survey.

Setting High schools (Alberta, Canada)

Participants 360 male students (of 2029 respondents), who play at least one of Football, Hockey, Lacrosse or Rugby.

Assessment of Risk Factors An anonymous online survey included questions regarding the mechanism, site, type, and nature of collision sport injuries.

Main Outcome Measurements Sport-related injury self-reported in the past year.

Results Of the 2029 survey respondents, 958 (47.2%) were male of which 360 (37.6%) reported playing at least one collision sport. Of all serious injuries reported by males, collision sports accounted for 33% [hockey: 63(17%), football: 41(11%), lacrosse: 9(3%), rugby 8(2%)]. The head/face accounted for the largest proportion of injuries (hockey: 25.4%, football: 24.4%, lacrosse: 33.3%, rugby 50.0%). Concussion was the most common injury in rugby (50.0%) and football (24.4%) and fractures the most common in hockey (27.0%) and lacrosse (44.4%). Contact with another player was the most frequently reported mechanism of injury (rugby: 87.5%, football: 77.1%, lacrosse: 66.7%, hockey: 57.4%), with most injuries related to contact by a player who was bigger or the same size as the injured player (hockey/rugby:100%, lacrosse: 83.3%, football: 81.5%).

Conclusions Sport-related injuries in male collision sports are common, with four sports accounting for 33% of all reported injuries across male Canadian high school sports. Head/face injuries were the most common, with the majority of injuries occurring due to contact with another player. There is scope to consider primary prevention strategies such as contact training and rule changes to address the risk of injury in youth collision sport.

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