RISK FACTORS FOR GROIN STRAIN INJURY IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE.Carolyn A. Emery, PhD, Willem H. Meeuwisse, MD. University of Alberta, Epidemiology, Public Health Sciences (C.A.E.), and University of Calgary, Sport Medicine Center, Calgary, AB, Canada.Purpose:The objective of this cohort study was to determine the level of off-season sport specific activity, peak isometric adductor torque and hip abduction flexibility that are predictive of groin or abdominal strain injury in the National Hockey League (NHL) 1998/99 season of play. This injury is of particular interest for injury prevention in hockey as it occurs most frequently independent of contact, in a sport where the majority of injuries occur directly secondary to contact with another player. As such, potentially modifiable intrinsic risk factors may be examined prior to the development of potential injury prevention strategies in hockey.Methods:The subjects were 1,292 consenting NHL players who attended one of 23 NHL training camps in September 1998. Estimated relative risks of injury are reported based on stratified analysis using the following exposures: 1) level of sport specific training in the off-season; 2) peak isometric adductor torque; 3) total hip abduction flexibility; 4) previous injury; 5) years NHL experience; 6) skate blade hollow measurement. Estimates of probability of groin or abdominal strain injury are predicted for various levels of exposures based on logistic regression analysis.Results:Those players who reported less than 18 sessions (equivalent to 6 weeks/ 3 times per week) sport specific training in the off-season were at greater than three times the risk of groin or abdominal strain injury than those players reporting 18 sessions or more [RR = 3.38 (1.45, 7.92)]. Those players who reported previous history of groin or abdominal strain injury were at greater than two times the risk of injury than those with no previous history [RR = 2.88 (1.33, 6.26)]. Veterans were at greater than five times the risk of injury than were rookies [RR = 5.69 (2.05, 15.85)]. Peak isometric adductor torque, total abduction flexibility and skate blade hollow measurements were not predictive of groin or abdominal strain injury in this study. There is evidence of a dose response gradient as predicted probability of injury decreases with increasing levels of sport specific training. In the regular season sport specific training was not as strong a risk factor [RR = 2.32 (1.0, 5.39)].Conclusions:Low levels of off-season sport specific training and previous injury are clearly risks for groin and abdominal strain injury at an elite level of hockey. This study likely has implications for prevention of groin and abdominal strain injury in hockey at all levels. Future research is required to investigate prevention strategies for groin and abdominal strain injury in hockey.IMPACT ATTENUATING CAPABILITY OF RUGBY SCRUM CAPS.T.L. Hall,* M.A. Roberts, R.W. Burns, P.J. Bishop. University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada.Objective:To determine the impact attenuating capability of rugby scrum caps.Setting:Canadian Standards Association (CSA) impact laboratory, Toronto, Canada.Design:Standardized monorail drop test using a metal headform.Main Outcome Measures:Percent reduction of peak headform acceleration.Methods:6 International Rugby Board-approved rugby scrum caps were tested using a standardized monorail headform drop test with a padded impact surface. Testing occurred from drop heights of 0.8 m and 1.0 m, with impact locations on the scrum caps at the “front” and “left side.