Objective: To investigate the incidence, site, nature, and severity of injuries in amateur rugby league in New Zealand at 2 different participation levels.
Design: A nonconcurrent observational prospective cohort study design.
Setting: Rugby league match environment over the 2006 (division 2) and 2008 (division 1) competition seasons.
Participants: Members of the rugby league team participating in match activities.
Assessment of risk factors: For each injury, it was recorded in which division it occurred; how many games, if any, were subsequently missed; and the type, site, and severity of injury.
Main outcome measures: Injuries were reported as rate per 1000 hours, also broken down into severity according to the number of games missed.
Results: Over the duration of the study periods, there was a combined total of 372 (division 1: 166 and division 2: 206) injuries recorded. The combined injury rate was 405 per 1000 playing hours (division 1: 266 per 1000 playing hours and division 2: 700 per 1000 playing hours).
Conclusions: The total injury incidence was higher than those previously reported for amateur and professional rugby league competitions. The incidence of missed match injuries for this study is also higher than missed match injuries reported for amateur, semiprofessional, and professional level competitions. The results of this study suggest that division 2 participants may have a lower fitness and skill level than division 1 participants. Further multidistrict prospective studies on the incidence of injuries in amateur rugby league competitions in New Zealand would enable further clarification on the actual total and missed match injury incidence and the incidence of tackle-related injuries in amateur competitions throughout New Zealand.