Injury profile of amateur Australian rules footballers

Aust J Sci Med Sport. 1994 Sep-Dec;26(3-4):59-61.


Australian Rules Football is played by numerous young Australians throughout winter each year. There have been a number of studies on professional and semi-professional footballers, establishing the nature and frequency of injuries within this football code. Medical cover of an amateur football club over the 1993 season allowed detailed recording of injuries over this period. The data collected revealed a markedly different injury profile to that seen previously. The injury rate in this study was 96 per 1000 player hours. The most common injury was concussion (15%), with hand fractures next most frequent (13.5%). The lower limb was the most common site of injury, with head and neck second and upper limb third. Injuries with an overuse component were seen less commonly in the amateur group while traumatic injuries were more frequent. The time allocated by amateur footballers to their sport is less than professional players, quite aside from the difference in skill level attained. Overuse injuries may be correspondingly much less frequent on a time basis alone. The increased incidence of traumatic injuries is postulated to be a manifestation of both less well developed skills and possibly less available and effective preventative measures such as ankle strapping and tape supplies. Considering the large number of young people playing amateur football and the significant time and cost of what are often relatively minor injuries, more work is required to establish what injuries are most common, and importantly, what measures can be taken to decrease their incidence.

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Brain Concussion / etiology
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Soccer / injuries*