Objective: The purpose of this paper is to highlight the most effective method of collecting injury data by using a definition that encompasses all injuries into the data collection system. The definition provides an accurate picture of injury incidence and also allows filtering of records so that data can be reported in a variety of comparable ways.
Data sources/synthesis: A qualitative review of literature in team sports, plus expert opinion, served as the basis for data collection strategies. Articles were retrieved from SportsDiscus and PubMed using the terms "sports injury definition" and "injury definition." These terms were searched for the period 1966 to November 2006.
Results: One of the major results (from this paper) that supports the use of an all-encompassing injury definition is that 70% to 92% of all injuries sustained fall into the transient category--that is, by only recording injuries that result in missed matches, the majority of injuries are missed and therefore injury rates are underreported.
Conclusion: An injury definition should be the most encompassing definition that enables a true, global picture of injury incidence to be seen in participation in any team sport.