Background: Limited information exists about how best to conduct intervention implementation studies in community sport settings. Research should be directed towards understanding the context within which evidence-based injury prevention interventions are to be implemented, while continuing to build the evidence-base for the effectiveness of sports injury interventions.
Objectives: To identify factors that influence the translation of evidence-based injury prevention interventions into practice in community sport, and to provide specific evidence for the effectiveness of an evidence-based exercise training programme for lower limb injury prevention in community Australian football.
Setting: Community-level Australian football clubs, teams and players.
Methods: An exercise-based lower limb injury prevention programme will be developed and evaluated in terms of the implementation context, infrastructure and resources needed for its effective translation into community sport. Analysis of the community sports safety policy context will be undertaken to understand the barriers and facilitators to policy development and uptake. A randomised group-clustered ecological study will be conducted to compare the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation and maintenance (RE-AIM) of the intervention over 2 years.
Outcome measures: The primary outcome will be evidence-based prevention guidelines that are fully supported by a comprehensively evaluated dissemination plan. The plan will detail the support structures and add-ons necessary to ensure sustainability and subsequent national implementation. Research outcomes will include new knowledge about how sports safety policy is set, how consensus is reached among sports safety experts in the community setting and how evidence-based safety guidelines are best developed, packaged and disseminated to community sport.