Epidemiology of lacrosse injuries in high school-aged girls and boys: a 3-year prospective study

Am J Sports Med. 2005 Sep;33(9):1305-14. doi: 10.1177/0363546504274148. Epub 2005 Jul 6.


Objective: To report the types, mechanisms, and circumstances of lacrosse injuries incurred by high school-aged girls and boys during organized interscholastic and summer camp games.

Study design: Descriptive epidemiology study.

Methods: For 3 years, the authors gathered data on girls' and boys' lacrosse injuries for 359 040 high school and 28 318 summer camp athletic exposures using a lacrosse-specific computerized injury surveillance system. The most prevalent injuries were organized into multifactorial injury scenarios.

Results: In high school play, the injury rate for adolescent boys (2.89 per 1000 athletic exposures) was slightly higher than that for girls (2.54 per 1000 athletic exposures) (incidence rate ratio = 1.14; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-1.30). The most prevalent injuries for adolescent girls and boys were knee and ankle sprains resulting from noncontact mechanisms. Male players had significantly higher rates of shoulder, neck, trunk, and back injuries and higher game-to-practice injury ratios. In addition, they had higher rates of concussive events from player-to-player contact. Female players had higher rates of overall head injuries, many involving contusions and abrasions from stick and ball contact.

Conclusions: The overall injury rates for boys' and girls' high school lacrosse were significantly lower than those for collegiate play. Significant differences existed between adolescent boys and girls with respect to injury mechanisms, body parts injured, and player and team activity at the time of injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ankle Injuries / epidemiology
  • Arm Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Racquet Sports / injuries*
  • Sprains and Strains / epidemiology