Participation in Australian football (AF) has traditionally been male dominated and current understanding of injury and priorities for prevention are based solely on reports of injuries in male players. There is evidence in other sports that indicates that injury types differ between males and females. With increasing participation in AF by females, it is important to consider their specific injury and prevention needs. This study aimed to provide a first injury profile from existing sources for female AF.
Compilation of injury data from four prospectively recorded data sets relating to female AF: (1) hospital admissions in Victoria, 2008/09-13/14, n=500 injuries; (2) emergency department (ED) presentations in Victoria, 2008/09-2012/13, n=1,879 injuries; (3) insurance claims across Australia 2004-2013, n=522 injuries; (4) West Australian Women's Football League (WAWFL), 2014 season club data, n=49 injuries. Descriptive results are presented as injury frequencies, injury types and injury to body parts.
Hospital admissions and ED presentations were dominated by upper limb injuries, representing 47% and 51% of all injuries, respectively, primarily to the wrist/hand at 32% and 40%. Most (65%) insurance claim injuries involved the lower limb, 27% of which were for knee ligament damage. A high proportion of concussions (33%) were reported in the club-collected data.
The results provide the first compilation of existing data sets of women's AF injuries and highlight the need for a rigorous and systematic injury surveillance system to be instituted.