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Practice Injury Rates in Collegiate Sports

Agel, Julie MA, ATC/L; Schisel, Jessica BA

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: January 2013 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 33–38
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3182717983
Original Research

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.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington.

Corresponding Author: Julie Agel, MA, ATC/L, Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, Box 359798, 325 Ninth Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received April 2, 2012

Accepted August 28, 2012

Copyright © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.