Incidence of sporting injury in New Zealand youths aged 6-15 years

R. G. Pringle, Peter McNair, Steve Stanley

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Objective - To document the incidence of injury in 6-15 year olds playing rugby union, rugby league, and netball, and to identify the common mechanisms, sites, severity, and time of injury. Methods - Cross sectional data were collected by trained observers who watched 258 games of rugby union, netball, and rugby league over a four week period. The condition of the injured participants was monitored until recovery. Results - In total, 5174 players were observed and an injury rate of 18 per 1000 player hours was calculated. Of all observed injuries, 29% required some form of medical treatment. A significant difference (p < 0.05) in the distribution of injury over the four quarters of the games was recorded, most occurring in the first three quarters. In total, 81% of the injuries were classified as contact injuries, and these mainly occurred through direct contact with the opposition. Of all observed injuries, 27% were recurrent. Conclusions - The incidence of injury in rugby union, netball, and rugby league is low for children aged between 6 and 15 years relative to adult rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-52
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


  • Injury incidence
  • Netball
  • Rugby league
  • Rugby union
  • Youth sport

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