When a large number of athletes compete intensely over a short period of time, a variety of sports injuries and illnesses are often encountered. Maintaining health records at these events presents a challenge to medical organizing committees. Accurate data collection is important, not only for planning of medical services, but also for development of prevention programs and policies relating to athletes' health. Recruitment of a dedicated data collection team with sports medicine background and computer expertise will facilitate collection and analysis of medical data at this type of event. This paper reviews the development and implementation of a sports injury and illness recording system used at the 1989 Jeux Canada Summer Games. Over 3500 participants had access to comprehensive medical services during the two weeks of competitions. Information on medical encounters was available daily during the games and a final report on sports injuries and illnesses was easily generated.