The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiology of NCAA men’s lacrosse time loss (TL) and non-time loss (NTL) injuries during the 2009/10–2014/15 academic years.
The aim was to examine the rates and patterns of injuries to identify those that may be substantial threats to player safety and require additional medical preparedness or safety considerations.
During the 2009/10–2014/15 academic years, 25 men’s lacrosse teams provided 63 team-seasons of data.
Lacrosse programmes’ athletic trainers (ATs) reported injury and exposure data in real-time through their electronic medical record application used by the team medical staff throughout the academic year.
This approach allowed ATs to document injuries as part of their normal clinical practice, thus eliminating the need to enter data more than once.
A reportable injury occurred as a result of participation in an NCAA-sanctioned practice or competition, and required attention from an AT or physician.
A reportable athlete-exposure (AE) was defined as one student-athlete participating in one NCAA-sanctioned practice or competition in which he was exposed to the possibility of athletic injury regardless of the duration of participation.
Event type was the specific event (i.e., practice, competition) in which the injury was reported to have occurred.
Injuries were categorised by the number of days of missed participation from sports (i.e., date of return to play subtracted by the date of injury).
The TL injury rates in NCAA men’s lacrosse reported in the present study were lower than those previously reported.
Such a decrease was associated with rule changes and injury prevention programming such as preventative exercise programmes and ankle bracing/ taping/strengthening.
Continued development and implementation of injury prevention programming is necessary to further reduce the risk of injury, particularly related to lower extremity injuries and concussions, which contribute the largest proportions of injuries.
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