Playing conditions, player preparation and rugby injury: a case-control study

J Sci Med Sport. 2005 Jun;8(2):171-80. doi: 10.1016/s1440-2440(05)80008-8.


This paper investigates the effect of player preparation, ground conditions and weather conditions upon the injury risk for Rugby Union players. A population-based case-control study was performed using a sample (n= 1043) of New Zealand Rugby Union players aged 16 y and above. Details concerning game preparation (warm-up and usual position), and ground and weather conditions (precipitation, wind and temperature) were obtained from the players. If players were injured during the season (n= 624) they were asked to provide details about the game in which they were last injured. Uninjured players (n= 419) provided details about the last game in which they played. Injuries were more likely to occur when games were played on hard grounds or in calm or warm conditions. Playing out of position and the duration of warming up did not significantly alter the risk of injury. When player preparation, ground and weather conditions, grade, age, playing position and rugby experience were simultaneously controlled for, hard ground and the absence of wind were associated with increased risk. The influence of these factors may be indirect, through adaptation to the conditions in which a game is played.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Football / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Risk Factors
  • Weather*