When the rules of the game are broken: Research studies sports injuries related to illegal activity

Feb 29, 2008

A study published in the February issue of Injury Prevention estimates that more than 98,000 sports injuries in U.S. high schools in 2005-2007 were directly related to an action that was ruled illegal activity by a referee, official or disciplinary committee.

Researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital analyzed data from the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 National High School Sport-Related Injury Surveillance Study. Nine high school sports were included: boys’ football, soccer, basketball, wrestling and baseball and girls’ soccer, volleyball, basketball and softball.

Boys’ and girls’ soccer had the highest rates of injuries related to illegal activity and girls’ volleyball, girls’ softball and boys’ baseball had the lowest. Overall, 6.4 percent of all high school sports-related injuries were related to illegal activity, with the highest proportion in girls’ basketball (14 percent), girls’ soccer (nearly 12 percent) and boys’ soccer (11 percent).

Thirty-two percent of injuries related to illegal activity were to the head and/or face and 25 percent were concussions.

“Our research indicates illegal activity is an overlooked risk factor for sports-related injury,” said Study Co-Author Christy Collins of CIRP. “Reducing illegal activity through enhanced enforcement of rules and targeted education about the dangers of illegal activity may reduce sports-related injuries.”

Of the nine sports studied, more than 10 percent of injuries in four sports were related to illegal activity. By definition, activities ruled illegal are not supposed to occur. Thus, injuries attributed to illegal activities should be largely preventable.

“Each sport has a unique set of rules developed to promote fair competition and protect participants from injury,” added Study Co-Author Dawn Comstock, Ph.D., of CIRP and a faculty member of The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “Thus, enforcing rules and punishing illegal activity is a risk control measure that may reduce injury rates by modifying players’ behavior.”

Source: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Explore further: Experts denounce clinical trials of unscientific, 'alternative' medicines

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study finds with vacant lots greened, residents feel safer

Aug 07, 2012

Greening vacant lots may make neighborhood residents feel safer and may be associated with reductions in certain gun crimes, according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0