Epidemiology of Boys' Club Lacrosse Injuries During the 2018 Summer Lacrosse Season

J Athl Train. 2020 Oct 1;55(10):1124-1129. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-0272.19.


Context: In the past 10 years, participation in boys' youth and high school lacrosse has increased by 33%. Among many club teams and tournaments, athletes may not have access to medical coverage. Additionally, these athletes face a higher volume of play than in traditional scholastic sport settings.

Objective: To describe the injury characteristics of boys' nonscholastic youth and high school club lacrosse athletes over the course of a summer season.

Design: Descriptive epidemiology study.

Patients or other participants: Boys' nonscholastic youth and high school lacrosse athletes, aged 8 to 18 years, who competed in tournaments.

Main outcome measure(s): Athletic trainers at tournaments were given standardized injury report forms to document patient encounters. These reports were then entered into the Datalys Injury Surveillance Tool.

Results: Over the summer tournament season, 233 injuries were reported in 109 342 athlete-exposures (AEs) for an injury rate of 2.13 per 1000 AEs (95% confidence interval = 1.87, 2.42). The most frequently injured body parts were the head and/or face (n = 51, 22%), arm and/or elbow (n = 34, 15%), and hand and/or wrist (n = 29, 12%). The most common diagnoses were contusions (n = 63, 27%), concussions (n = 44, 19%), fractures (n = 39, 17%), and sprains (n = 35, 15%). The most often injured position was midfielder (n = 65, 41%), followed by defense (n = 48, 30%), attack (n = 36, 23%), and goalkeeper (n = 9, 6%). The concussion rate was 0.4 per 1000 AEs (95% confidence interval = 0.28, 0.52).

Conclusions: The injury rate experienced by boys' nonscholastic club lacrosse athletes was similar to the rates of their high school counterparts as well as school-sponsored football and wrestling athletes. Because of the risk of injury, athletic training services should be available for youth and high school club lacrosse tournaments.

Keywords: club sports; injury rate; youth sports.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes*
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Racquet Sports / injuries*
  • Schools*
  • Seasons*
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology