Australian football: injury profile at the community level

J Sci Med Sport. 2002 Jun;5(2):149-60. doi: 10.1016/s1440-2440(02)80036-6.


Successful injury prevention relies on injury surveillance to establish the extent of the problem, to monitor injury patterns and to evaluate prevention strategies. Despite the popularity of participation in Australian football at the community level, few injury surveillance studies have been published describing the pattern of injuries at this level of participation. In contrast, ongoing injury surveillance at the elite-level is well established. Reliance on injury data from the elite-level of Australian football to guide injury prevention at the community level may not be appropriate due to differences across the levels with respect to exposure, fitness and skill level. Therefore, specific injury surveillance at the community level of Australian football is warranted. This study describes the epidemiology of community level Australian football injuries. Injury surveillance was undertaken in five amateur Australian football clubs over the 1999 season. The 320 participating players sustained 421 injuries over the season. The overall rate of injury was 27 injuries per 1000 player hours. Injuries were most commonly sustained at the start of the season and during the second quarter of match participation. Hamstring muscle strains were the most common injury sustained, followed by thigh haematomas and lateral ligament sprains of the ankle. The injury surveillance system used in this study was well accepted by the clubs and provides detailed data for the prioritisation of future injury prevention research at the community level of Australian football.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Australia
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries
  • Prevalence
  • Soccer / injuries*