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Time-Loss Injuries Versus Non–Time-Loss Injuries in the First Team Rugby League Football: A Pooled Data Analysis

Gissane, Conor PhD*; Hodgson, Lisa PhD†,‡,§; Jennings, De MBBS¶,§

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: September 2012 - Volume 22 - Issue 5 - p 414–417
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e318261cace
Original Research

Objective: To describe the injury rates in first team rugby league in terms of those injuries that require missed playing time and those that do not.

Design: A pooled data analysis from 2 independent databases.

Setting: Rugby league match and training environment over several seasons from 1990 to 2003.

Main Outcome Measures: Injuries were reported as rates per 1000 hours of participation and as percentages with their associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: A total of 1707 match injuries were recorded. Of these injuries, 257 required players to miss the subsequent match. The remaining 1450 injuries did not require players to miss the next game. They represented 85% (95% CI, 83-87) of all injuries received and recorded. The ratio of non–time-loss (NTL) to time-loss (TL) injuries was 5.64 (95% CI, 4.96-6.42). There were 450 training injuries, of which 81 were TL injuries and 369 NTL injuries. The NTL training injury rate was 4.56 (95% CI, 3.58-5.79) times higher than TL injury rate.

Conclusions: Non–time-loss injuries represent the largest proportion of injuries in rugby league. If NTL injuries are not recorded, the workload of practitioners is likely to be severely underestimated.

Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.

*School of Sport, Health and Applied Science, St Mary's University College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, Middlesex, United Kingdom

Corobeus Sports Consultancy Ltd, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Centre for Sports Medicine, Nottingham University, Nottingham, United Kingdom

§Former Head of Sports Medicine, Rugby Football League, Leeds, United Kingdom

General Practitioner, Reigate, Surrey, United Kingdom.

Corresponding Author: Conor Gissane, PhD, School of Sport, Health and Applied Science, St Mary's University College, Waldegrave Rd, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham TW1 4SX, United Kingdom (

The authors report no funding or conflicts of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

Received October 7, 2011

Accepted May 28, 2012

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.