Profile of an American Amateur Rugby Union Sevens Series

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Abstract

Background:

Rugby union will enter the Olympic arena as Rugby Sevens in 2016.

Purpose:

To investigate the injury rate, injury type, and nature of injuries sustained in an amateur American rugby union sevens tournament series.

Study Design:

Descriptive epidemiology study.

Methods:

The rate, demographics, and characteristics of injury were evaluated in 1536 rugby union sevens players, from 128 sides, competing in 4 amateur 1-day tournaments in a USA Rugby local area rugby union.

Results:

Forty-eight injuries occurred over 4 tournaments, for an injury rate of 55.4 injuries per 1000 playing hours. Head and neck injuries were most common (33.3% of injuries), followed by upper extremity (31.3%), trunk (18.8%), lower extremity (14.6%), and physiologic injuries (2.1%). The most common type of injury was ligament sprain (25.0%); followed by concussion (14.6%), hematoma/contusion (12.5%), muscle strain (10.4%), and abrasion (8.3%). Tackling was the most common mechanism of injury (74.5%). Males were injured at a significantly higher rate than females (RR, 7.5, P < .01), but no significant difference was observed based on player position (P = .08).

Conclusion:

Injuries are common among American amateur rugby athletes, with a substantial proportion involving the head and neck region.

Clinical Relevance:

Understanding injury patterns in an American rugby union will be important for formulating future injury prevention, assessment, and treatment protocols.

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