Epidemiology of Varsity Sports

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Varsity sports is in many schools as important as academics, especially in the United States. These schools rely a great deal on the success of their teams for financial stability and enrollment interest. The athletes as well take their sport very seriously, if only for the sake of their pride.

It therefore follows that each team strives to be the very best, and only 100% effort is enough. Unfortunately, when competition climaxes, more often than not injuries result.

This study is a synopsis of the data collected in a number of past articles concerned with injuries incurred by collegiate athletes in many different varsity sports. For the purpose of this study, an injury has been defined as any abnormal condition that has caused an athlete to be removed from practice or competition for one or more days, because performance has been impaired (Hanes and Murray, 1982). The following statistics will deal with injuries of collegiate sports incurred by athletes involved in Men's and Women's Basketball, Baseball, Gymnastics and Track and Field, Men's Soccer, and Wrestling, and Women's Field Hockey.


The study of the nature and extent of athletic injuries Occuring in Women's Basketball by Hanes and Murray in 1982 found an injury rate of 41.7 per 100 players. Of these injuries 56.9% were ankle sprains, 24.1% were muscle strains. 76.2% of the sprains and strains occurred to the lower extremities. Injured fingers ( which were the only upper extremity injuries) accounted for 14.3% of the injuries and 4.8% of the injuries were reported as facial.

All information for this study was collected through the use of injury forms completed by the coaches, and information forms by each player, injured or not.

In a separate study for the American Journal of Sports Medicine by Clarke and Buckley in...