Injury incidence and burden during senior inter-provincial field hockey tournaments
Background: Field hockey is an Olympic sport played internationally and in which South Africa is a participating nation. It also has its own world cup. Few injury studies have been published on South African field hockey. Research efforts should increase within the sport to ensure safe participation and mitigate the inherent injury risks. Objectives: The objective of the study was to attend the male and female inter-provincial field hockey tournaments in South Africa and determine the incidence of injury and burden of acquired sport injuries (time-loss and medical attention).
Methods: A quantitative, descriptive, longitudinal study, including 133 females and 139 males, was conducted. Participants completed baseline questionnaires prior to the tournament and post-match questionnaires detailing injuries during the tournament.
Results: The recorded injuries were 77.9 (females) and 99.5 (males) per 1 000 player match hours. Medical attention was 51.9 (females) and 70.3 (males) injuries per 1 000 player match hours. The result for time-loss injuries was 4.3 (females) and 7.5 (males) injuries per 1 000 player match hours. Discussion: The study found high incidence rates of all injuries and medical attention injuries; however, the incidence of time-loss injuries was low in comparison to existing literature. Comparing current results to existing literature is challenging due to the heterogeneity of methodologies and injury definitions in field hockey research.
Conclusion: This was the largest observational study in field hockey conducted in South Africa. The international sporting body should establish a consensus for future research and the South African Hockey Association explore long-term surveillance in South Africa to mimic similar national codes.
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