Objective: The objective of this article was to explore the differences in practice injury rates for select National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sports within and across sport by preseason, in-season, and postseason. This article will explore the relationship of practice injury rates by fall, winter, and spring sports as well as by Divisions I, II, and III.
Design: Descriptive epidemiology study.
Setting: NCAA schools.
Patients: NCAA athletes.
Main Outcome Measures: Injury.
Results: In all sports across all seasons, preseason practice injury rates [6.3 per 1000 athletic exposure (A-E)] were higher than in-season (2.3 per 1000 A-E). Fall sports had an overall preseason practice injury rate of 7.4 (per 1000 A-E) compared with 7.0 (per 1000 A-E) for winter and 3.5 (per 1000 A-E) for spring sports. Women's soccer had the highest preseason injury rate of 9.5 (per 1000 A-E). Men's football had the highest increased risk of injury comparing preseason with in-season practice injury (3.47 per 1000 A-E).
Conclusions: The recognition that preseason practice injury rates are higher compared with in-season and postseason practice injury rates can create an opportunity for athletes, coaches, and medical personnel to identify prevention strategies to reduce preseason injury risk.