Background: Injuries are common in rugby sevens, but studies to date have been limited to short, noncontinuous periods and reporting of match injuries only. Purpose: To report the injury incidence rate (IIR), severity, and burden of injuries sustained by men and women in the Australian rugby sevens program and to provide the first longitudinal investigation of subsequent injury occurrence in rugby sevens looking beyond tournament injuries only. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Methods: Ninety international rugby sevens players (55 men and 35 women) were prospectively followed over 2 consecutive seasons (2015-2016 and 2016-2017). All medical attention injuries were reported irrespective of time loss. Individual exposure in terms of minutes, distance, and high-speed distance was captured for each player for matches and on-field training, with the use of global positioning system devices. The IIR and injury burden (IIR × days lost to injury) were calculated per 1000 player-hours, and descriptive analyses were performed. Results: Seventy-three players (81.1%) sustained 365 injuries at an IIR of 43.2 per 1000 player-hours (95% CI, 43.0-43.3). As compared with male players, female players experienced a lower IIR (incidence rate ratio, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.90-0.91). Female players also sustained a higher proportion of injuries to the trunk region (relative risk, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.28-2.40) but a lower number to the head/neck region (relative risk, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37-0.93; P =.011). The majority (80.7%) of subsequent injuries were of a different site and nature than previous injuries. A trend toward a reduced number of days, participation time, distance, and high-speed distance completed before the next injury was observed after successive injury occurrence. Conclusion: Female players have a lower IIR than male players, with variation of injury profiles observed between sexes. With a surveillance period of 2 years, subsequent injuries account for the majority of injuries sustained in rugby sevens, and they are typically different from previous types of sustained injuries. After each successive injury, the risk profile for future injury occurrence appears to be altered, which warrants further investigation to inform injury prevention strategies in rugby sevens.
Objectives: To investigate the impact of training modification on achieving performance goals. Previous research demonstrates an inverse relationship between injury burden and success in team sports. It is unknown whether this relationship exists within individual sport such as athletics. Design: A prospective, cohort study (n = 33 International Track and Field Athletes; 76 athlete seasons) across five international competition seasons. Methods: Athlete training status was recorded weekly over a 5-year period. Over the 6-month preparation season, relationships between training weeks completed, the number of injury/illness events and the success or failure of a performance goal at major championships was investigated. Two-by-two table were constructed and attributable risks in the exposed (AFE) calculated. A mixed-model, logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between failure and burden per injury/illness. Receiver Operator Curve (ROC) analysis was performed to ascertain the optimal threshold of training week completion to maximise the chance of success. Results: Likelihood of achieving a performance goal increased by 7-times in those that completed >80% of planned training weeks (AUC, 0.72; 95%CI 0.64-0.81). Training availability accounted for 86% of successful seasons (AFE=0.86, 95%CI, 0.46 to 0.96). The majority of new injuries occurred within the first month of the preparation season (30%) and most illnesses occurred within 2-months of the event (50%). For every modified training week the chance of success significantly reduced (OR=0.74, 95%CI 0.58 to 0.94). Conclusions: Injuries and illnesses, and their influence on training availability, during preparation are major determinants of an athlete's chance of performance goal success or failure at the international level. (C) 2016 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.