Injuries can be an adverse outcome of participation in sport and recreational activities. The aim of this study was to determine the public health impact of injury during sports and active recreation injury in a select population in Australia. A random household telephone survey was conducted quarterly over a 12-month period in a well-defined geographic region, the Latrobe Valley, Australia. Information was collected on participation in sport and active recreation and associated injuries over the previous 2 weeks for all household members aged over 4 years. Injury rates were calculated per 10,000 population and per 1000 sports participants. Data were collected on 1084 persons from 417 households. Overall, 648 people reported participating in at least one sport or active recreation and 34 (5.2%, 95% CI: 4.8, 5.6%) of these sustained an injury during this activity. Overall, 51.4% of injured cases had a significant impact: 26.5% sought treatment, 34.4% had their activities of daily living adversely affected and 36.0% had their performance/participation limited. Cricket (51 injuries/10,000 population), horse riding (29/10,000 population) and basketball (25/10,000 population) had the highest injury rates. After adjusting for participation, cricket (242 injuries/1000 participants), horse riding (122/1000 participants) and soccer (107/1000 participants) had the highest injury rates. Cricket and soccer were the sports most associated with 'significant' injuries. Injury prevention efforts should be aimed at team ball sports (especially cricket, soccer and netball) because of their comparatively high rate of both overall and 'significant' injury.