Incidence of Injury in Gaelic Football: A 4-Year Prospective Study

Murphy, John C. and O'Malley, Edwenia and Gissane, Conor and Blake, Catherine (2013) Incidence of Injury in Gaelic Football: A 4-Year Prospective Study. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 41 (8). pp. 2113-2120. ISSN 0363-5465

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Background: Gaelic football is a national sport of Ireland. While predominantly played in Ireland, it is recognized in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Australasia. Its high-velocity, multidirectional, and high physical contact elements expose players to a risk of injury. To date, prospective injury data for Gaelic football has been of short duration. Purpose: To describe the incidence and nature of sport-related injuries in elite male Gaelic football players over 4 consecutive seasons. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Methods: Over the period 2007 to 2010, a total of 851 Gaelic football players were tracked. Players were members of county-level teams who volunteered to be included in the study. Team injury, training, and match play data were submitted by the team physiotherapist on a weekly basis through a dedicated web portal to the National Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) injury database. Injury was defined using a time loss criterion, in accordance with consensus statements in sports applicable to Gaelic games. Results: A total of 1014 Gaelic football injuries were recorded. Incidence of injury was 4.05 per 1000 hours of football training. Match-play injury rates were 61.86 per 1000 hours. Muscle was the most frequently injured tissue (42.6%) and fractures accounted for 4.4% of Gaelic football injuries. Lower extremity injuries predominated (76.0%). Hamstring injuries were the single most common injury overall, representing almost one quarter (24%) of all injuries and over half of muscle injuries. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries accounted for 13% of knee injuries. The majority of injuries were defined as new injuries (74.7%), with recurrent injuries constituting 23% of all injuries. The majority (59%) of match play injuries occurred in the second half of the match. Eighty six percent of injuries caused over one week’s absence from play. Conclusion: These findings illustrate injury patterns in Gaelic football using a prospective methodology, over 4 consecutive seasons. Comparison with published literature suggests that Gaelic football match play injury risk is greater than soccer but less than rugby union.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gaelic football; Injury risk; Injury prevention; Training
Subjects: 600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
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: Catherine O'Sullivan
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2013 12:09
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2013 12:09


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