Validity of soccer injury data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Injury Surveillance System

J Athl Train. 2011 Sep-Oct;46(5):489-99. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-46.5.489.


Context: Few validation studies of sport injury-surveillance systems are available.

Objective: To determine the validity of a Web-based system for surveillance of collegiate sport injuries, the Injury Surveillance System (ISS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA).

Design: Validation study comparing NCAA ISS data from 2 fall collegiate sports (men's and women's soccer) with other types of clinical records maintained by certified athletic trainers.

Setting: A purposive sample of 15 NCAA colleges and universities that provided NCAA ISS data on both men's and women's soccer for at least 2 years during 2005-2007, stratified by playing division.

Patients or other participants: A total of 737 men's and women's soccer athletes and 37 athletic trainers at these 15 institutions.

Main outcome measure(s): The proportion of injuries captured by the NCAA ISS (capture rate) was estimated by comparing NCAA ISS data with the other clinical records on the same athletes maintained by the athletic trainers. We reviewed all athletic injury events resulting from participation in NCAA collegiate sports that resulted in 1 day or more of restricted activity in games or practices and necessitated medical care. A capture-recapture analysis estimated the proportion of injury events captured by the NCAA ISS. Agreement for key data fields was also measured.

Results: We analyzed 664 injury events. The NCAA ISS captured 88.3% (95% confidence interval = 85.9%, 90.8%) of all time-lost medical-attention injury events. The proportion of injury events captured by the NCAA ISS was higher in Division I (93.8%) and Division II (89.6%) than in Division III (82.3%) schools. Agreement between the NCAA ISS data and the non-NCAA ISS data was good for the majority of data fields but low for date of full return and days lost from sport participation.

Conclusions: The overall capture rate of the NCAA ISS was very good (88%) in men's and women's soccer for this period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Epidemiological Monitoring*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Sports
  • Universities