Epidemiological studies of injuries in rugby league: suggestions for definitions, data collection and reporting methods

J Sci Med Sport. 2009 Jan;12(1):12-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2007.12.001. Epub 2008 Mar 21.


Studies on rugby league injuries use a variety of definitions and methodologies. Consequently, comparisons of published studies are difficult. Researchers with an interest in understanding the epidemiology of rugby league injury participated in a majority agreement process. This paper provides suggestions for the definitions, data collection and reporting methods for future studies of rugby league injuries. The proposed methods and definitions were developed through the use of a majority agreement process on draft versions by all authors. Recommended definitions for injury incidence, recurrence, severity and match exposure are provided as well as injury site, type, diagnosis and causation. Suggestions for match and training injury incidence calculations are also provided for the purposes of comparison. This paper provides standard definitions that, if utilised, will enable meaningful comparison of future rugby league injury surveillance data from different countries and playing levels.

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / classification*
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Consensus
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Football / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Injury Severity Score
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Recurrence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Terminology as Topic*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology