When the Cats are away: The impact of sporting events on assault- and alcohol-related emergency department attendances

Peter Miller, Louise McDonald, Stephen Mckenzie, Kerry O'Brien, Petra Staiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction and Aims: Despite the attention given to the broad topic of alcohol and violence, there are few studies of this relationship in the context of sporting events and their impact on alcohol-related hospital emergency department (ED) attendances, none of which are Australian. Methods: De-identified patient records from Barwon Health's Geelong Hospital ED were analysed from 1 July 2005 to 16 February 2010. Information contained in these records included age, gender, suburb of residence, attendance date and time, arrival mode and reason for attendance. The ED triage database was searched for attendances relating to alcohol, drugs and assault of which 16940 cases were returned. Results: There was a substantial increase in annual alcohol-related ED attendances from 2006 to 2009. Hierarchical binary logistic regression analyses showed that having a game on a particular day did not contribute to the model, but there were significantly more ED attendances for assaults on days when the Geelong Cats won. There were no significant predictors of ED attendance for alcohol-related harm in the variables studied. Discussion: The findings of the study suggest that there are significantly more assault-related attendances at the ED in Geelong when the local national football team, the Geelong Cats, won. None of the variables under investigation appears to have impacted on alcohol-related attendances which were not assaults (i.e. injuries or intoxication). Conclusions: It appears that increases in ED attendances associated with the success of a local sporting team are not significantly associated with alcohol use and are more influenced by other factors. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Assault
  • Emergency department
  • Injury
  • Sporting event

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