During the 12 months of 1980, 1652 sporting injuries were recorded in three casualty departments in Brisbane. More than 35 different sports were represented, although the four major football codes accounted for 63% of cases. Sixty-nine per cent of injuries occurred during competition, and 11% during training, while 20% were sustained during recreational sporting activities. The mechanisms, nature, and site of injuries are presented and comparisons are made between the four football codes. Foul play was responsible for 7% of injuries in contact sports. Closed soft-tissue injuries comprised 55% of cases, yet only in 8% of these were the patients referred for physiotherapy. The hospital presentation of football injuries was different from that seen in the field.