Send to

Choose Destination
J Athl Train. 2007 Apr-Jun;42(2):211-20.

Descriptive epidemiology of collegiate women's field hockey injuries: National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System, 1988-1989 through 2002-2003.

Author information

National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, IN, USA.



To review 15 years of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) injury surveillance data for women's field hockey and identify potential areas for injury prevention initiatives.


Field hockey is one of the most popular sports worldwide and is growing in participation in the United States, particularly among women. From 1988-1989 to 2002-2003, participation in NCAA women's field hockey increased 12%, with the largest growth among Division III programs. In 2002- 2003, 253 colleges offered women's field hockey and 5385 women participated.


Game injury rates showed a significant average annual 2.5% decline over 15 years, most likely fueled by drops in ankle ligament sprain, knee internal derangement, and finger fracture injuries. Despite this, ankle ligament sprains were common (13.7% of game and 15.0% of practice injuries) and a frequent cause of severe injuries (resulting in 10+ days of time-loss activity). Concussion and head laceration injuries increased over this same time, and the risk of sustaining a concussion in a game was 6 times higher than the risk of sustaining one during practice. Overall, injury rates were twice as high in games as in practices (7.87 versus 3.70 injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures, rate ratio = 2.1, 95% confidence interval = 2.0, 2.3). Most head/neck/face (71%) and hand/finger/thumb (68%) injuries occurred when the player was near the goal or within the 25-yd line and were caused by contact with the stick or ball (greater than 77% for both body sites); for 34% of head/neck/ face injuries, a penalty was called on the play.


Equipment (requiring helmets and padded gloves) and rule changes (to decrease field congestion near the goal) as well as evidence-based injury prevention interventions (eg, prophylactic ankle taping/bracing, neuromuscular balance exercise programs) may be viable prevention initiatives for reducing injury rates in women's collegiate field hockey players.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center