Injury incidence in elite youth field hockey players at the 2016 European Championships
2018-09-12T10:04:50Z (GMT) by
Despite being an essential consideration when deciding rule changes, injury prevention strategies, and athlete development models, there is little epidemiological data of U18 field hockey player injuries–something explicitly referred to in the 2015 International Olympic Committee’s Consensus Statement on Youth Athlete Development. The aim of this study was to quantify incidence and characteristics of injuries in elite youth field hockey players during a major international tournament. Standardized reporting forms detailing time, location on pitch, mechanism and anatomical location of injury were completed for new musculoskeletal conditions resulting in a time stoppage by the umpire and where a player was noticeably affected by an injury for up to 20 s regardless of time stoppage. Injury incidence was 1.35 and 2.20 injuries/match or 53 and 86 injuries per 1000 player match hours for boys (B) and girls (G) respectively; girls were over three times more likely to have a minor injury. Most injuries were contusions due to being hit by the ball or stick (B: 12, G: 27), with high numbers of injuries to the torso (B: 8) and head/face (G: 7). Injuries during the penalty corner (B: 3, G: 4) were to the lower limb and hand, and boys were less likely to wear facial protection (B: 65.9%, G: 86.4%). Results form an essential initial dataset of injuries in U18 field hockey players. Current reporting protocols under-report injuries and must be addressed by the international governing body. The high number of head/face injuries, particularly in females, requires further investigation.