A survey of referee participation, training and injury in elite gaelic games referees

Blake, Catherine and Sherry, James and Gissane, Conor (2009) A survey of referee participation, training and injury in elite gaelic games referees. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 10 (74). ISSN 1471-2474

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2474-10-74


**Background** Referees in Gaelic games are exposed to injury risk in match-play and training. Little is currently know about the degree of exposure or the prevalence of injury in this group. The aim of this study was to determine the time commitment to refereeing and training in elite-level Gaelic referees and to establish, for the first time, point and period (past 12 months) prevalence of Gaelic games injury in these officials. **Methods** A retrospective survey was posted to the complete list of 111 male referees who officiated in elite-level competition in Gaelic football and hurling at the end of the 2005 competition season. Data were summarised using percentages with 95% Confidence Intervals. Results The response rate was 80% (n = 89). Mean age was 42 ± 6 years, ranging from 28–55 years. Forty eight percent were football referees, 25% were hurling referees and 27% refereed both football and hurling. Most referees (69%) officiated at 3–4 games weekly (range 1–6) and most (62%) trained 2–3 times per week (range 1–7). Fourteen percent (n = 12) were currently injured (95% CI 9–21%). Annual injury prevalence was 58% (95% CI 46 to 70%) for football, 50% (95% CI 33 to 67%) for hurling and 42% (95% CI 27 to 58%) for dual referee groups. Sixty percent of injuries were sustained while refereeing match play. The majority (83%, n = 40) were to the lower limb and the predominant (56%, n = 27) injury mechanism was running or sprinting. The most prevalent injuries were hamstring strain (n = 12, 25% of injuries) and calf strain (n = 9, 19% of injuries). Injury causing time off from refereeing was reported by 31% of all referees (95% CI 24 to 40%, n = 28), for a median duration of 3 weeks. **Conclusion** Participation in official duties and training is high in elite Gaelic games referees, despite the amateur status of the sports. Gaelic games injury is common in the referee cohort, with lower limb injury predominating. These injuries have implications for both the referee and for organisation of the games.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014
Subjects: 600 Technology > 612 Human physiology
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts; recreation > 796 Athletic & outdoor sports & games
School/Department: School of Sport, Health and Applied Science
Depositing User: Jonathan Lucas
Date Deposited: 16 May 2012 15:40
Last Modified: 16 May 2012 15:41
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/114


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