Of 10,216 male athletic injuries treated at the University of Toronto between September 1951 and June 1969, 23.2% were incurred in the intercollegiate (IC) and 41.9% in the intramural (IM) programs. Accident rates averaged 509 injuries per 1000 participant years for IC athletes, and 57 injuries per 1000 participant years for IM athletes; accidents were particularly frequent in IC football, wrestling, rugby, basketball, and soccer, and in IM football.
Statistics for all IC athletics except boxing showed little improvement between 1951 and 1969; however, IM injuries for rugby, lacrosse, hockey and soccer all decreased over the period of analysis. Possible reasons for these trends are discussed.
Injury rates reached a peak near the middle of the season, when IM competition was most intense. Rates were highest in physical and health education and graduate students; intense competition may have been a factor in the physical education athletes, but poor preparation and aging seemed more likely reasons for accidents among the graduates.
The type and bodily distribution of injuries conformed generally with expected patterns. Certain sports (squash, skiing, gymnasties, basketball, and judo) carried a particular risk of recurrent sprains and dislocations; the shoulder, knee and ankle joints were most commonly affected.
The current frequency of injury is unsatisfactory for many types of sport. As a first step towards the development of effective preventive measures, specific suggestions are made for the uniform reporting of injury data.