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Injuries in Rugby and Association Football
  1. Doris Weightman,
  2. R. C. Browne


    The number, site, severity and rate of accidents and the medical attention received has been measured for association and rugby football in the four northern counties of England during the 1970-1971 season. 696 out of 1601 (43%) association and 117 out of 232 (50%) rugby football clubs replied to the questionnaires. If all the clubs had replied an estimated 14078 injuries would have occurred in association and 3888 in rugby football. For soccer, the accident rate was 36.5 per 10,000 man-hours of play and for rugger 30.5. In soccer 65% of all injuries were to the lower limbs, but only 36% in rugger, which had a higher proportion of injuries to other sites compared with soccer. Fractures and dislocations were twice as common in rugger as in soccer. Concussion was also more common. In rugby football, the players are injured less often than in association football, but more seriously, as is shown by the fact that hospital treatment was needed by 29.8% of the soccer injuries, but 52.8% of those in rugby football. Similarly, a rugger injury needed on average 12 days off play, whereas one in soccer needed only 6 days off play.

    A bigger proportion of soccer injuries (73.8%) received rapid first aid than did rugger injuries (45.8%). Better first aid cover at matches and simple protective clothing for the legs of soccer players and shoulders of rugby players are suggested.

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