Community level Australian Football: a profile of injuries

J Sci Med Sport. 2004 Mar;7(1):96-105. doi: 10.1016/s1440-2440(04)80048-3.


Identification of injuries and their risk factors is required in order to develop risk controls within the context of sports injury prevention. The Australian Football Injury Prevention Project (AFIPP) was a randomised controlled trial (RCT) examining the effects of protective equipment on injury rates in Australian Rules Football. The aim of this paper is to describe the general injury profile of community level Australian Football players over one season, as recorded during this RCT. Players were recruited from the largest community football league in Victoria, Australia, during the 2001 playing season. A total of 301 players participated (64% response rate) and all injuries occurring during training and games were recorded. The overall injury incidence rate was 12.1/1000 player hours. Bruises/soft tissue injuries made up more than a quarter of all injuries (28%) and the leg (lower leg, ankle, thigh/hamstring and knee) was the most commonly injured body region. Most injuries occurred at the beginning of the season (April-May, 53% of injuries), during competition (77%) and through body contact (49.9%). Midfielders (OR = 3.39, 95% CI: 1.13, 10.14) and players aged at least 25 years (OR = 2.15, 95% CI: 1.06, 4.34) were significantly more likely to experience an injury than other playing positions and younger players. Although the injury rate in this study was lower than that in previous studies, the results are consistent with the finding that injuries tend to occur earlier in the season and more commonly during competition. Injury prevention efforts should be particularly targeted at midfielders and older players.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comment
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Athletic Injuries / classification
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Body Mass Index
  • Head Protective Devices
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Leg Injuries / classification
  • Leg Injuries / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Mouth Protectors
  • Risk Factors
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Soccer / statistics & numerical data
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / epidemiology
  • Time
  • Victoria / epidemiology