Background Previous studies have highlighted the prevalence of head, neck, and face (HNF) injuries among male and female rugby-15s players; however, differences in risk-factors between sexes and age have not yet been examined in Rugby-7s.
Objective To identify risk factors of HNF injuries and sex risk differences among Rugby-7 players by age-groups.
Design Logistic regression analysis.
Setting USA Rugby tournaments/series and championships (U-19 to Elite; 2010–2016).
Participants 1,307 (68%=men, 31%=women) head neck and face injured U.S. Rugby-7s tournamnent players.
Assessment of Risk Factors A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using the RISERugby Injury Registry. Anthropometric data, injury mechanism, and other factors were tabulated by HNF injuries and sex. Logistic regression determined the relationship between sex and HNF injuries. A final multivariable model was used to calculate the probability of HNF injuries and differences between sex and age-groups.
Results From 2010–2016, 1,679 match injuries were seen (68%=men, 32%=women) injuries. A total of 474 (28%) HNF injuries were documented. The most commonly injured body part was the head (48%) with concussions (40%). Final model revealed sex, age, position during contact, contact surface, and play legality were significantly associated with HNF injuries. Controlling for play legality and position during contact, U18-men injured during contact with an opposing player had the highest probability of HNF injuries (51%) and a higher probability than U18 women (P=0.004). Meanwhile, women 18–24 (P=0.019) and over 30 (P=0.042) who were injured during contact with the ground had a higher probability of HNF injuries than men.
Conclusions Under-18 male players involved in contact with players were most at risk for HNF injuries. Meanwhile, adult women 18–24 and 30-years old had a higher probability of sustaining a HNF injury when injured during contact with the ground. Tackle techniques, break falls, and other interactions employed by developing women and men players, including tackles or collisions, should be reviewed in detail for injury reduction.
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