A 6-year surveillance study of "Stingers" in NCAA American Football

Res Sports Med. Jan-Mar 2017;25(1):26-36. doi: 10.1080/15438627.2016.1258642. Epub 2016 Nov 22.


This study describes the epidemiology of "stinger" injuries in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men's Football. About 57 NCAA Men's Football programmes provided 153 team-seasons of injury data to the NCAA Injury Surveillance Programme (NCAA-ISP) during the 2009/2010-2014/2015 academic years. In the study period, 229 "stingers" were reported for an injury rate of 2.04/10,000 athlete-exposures (AE). Most "stingers" were reported during competitions (55.5%) and the preseason (80.3%) and resulted in time loss less than 24 hours (63.8%). One in five (18.8%) were recurrent. Most "stingers" were due to player contact (93.0%), particularly while tackling (36.7%) and blocking (25.8%) and occurred to defensive ends/linebackers (25.8%) and offensive linemen (23.6%). Although previous research reports a large prevalence of "stingers" among football players, the NCAA-ISP reported a relatively low injury rate. The transient nature of pain associated with "stingers" may have contributed to under-reporting, highlighting the need to deduce manners to increase reporting.

Keywords: Epidemiology; burners; injury surveillance; neurologic injury; stingers.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brachial Plexus / injuries*
  • Cervical Vertebrae
  • Football / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries / etiology
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / etiology
  • Spinal Nerve Roots / injuries*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult