Medical coverage services have the potential to play a key role in sports injury surveillance activities. Provided that injury surveillance activities are fully coordinated and a standardised data collection procedure is implemented, valuable sports injury information can be obtained by medical coverage personnel. This paper describes the development of a standardised injury data collection form for use by medical coverage personnel during large sporting events. The form was trialed during two large sporting events in Melbourne, Australia in 1995. A range of sports medicine and sports first aid personnel was involved in the trial and injury details were collected on all persons receiving treatment from the coverage team, irrespective of injury severity. The final sports injury data collection form is easy to use, can be used by all types of medical coverage personnel and can provide valuable data in a timely manner. The form has since been adopted as the injury data collection standard at a number of major Australian sporting events. Recommendations for incorporating injury surveillance activities when organising sporting events and planning medical coverage services are given. Suggestions for maximising compliance with data collection procedures are also discussed.