OBJECTIVE: To investigate gender differences in injury rates in high school athletics. METHOD: 3-year study of athletic injury in 12 sports in 100 North Carolina high schools. Data were collected on baseline demographics, weekly participation in sports, and all injuries. Injury rates were calculated as the total number of injuries divided by the total number of athletes participating in that sport, times 1,000. Rate ratios (RRs) were calculated using female sports as the reference category. RESULTS: Overall, girls had a much lower rate of athletic injury than boys, 80.1 per 1,000 athlete-years, (95%CI: 79.6-80.6), compared to 147.7 per 1,000 for boys (95%CI: 147.3-148.1). The overall RR for boys versus girls was 1.84 (95%CI: 1.69-2.00). When football was excluded, the RR dropped to 1.19 (95%CI: 1.08-1.32). There were four sports in this study which were comparable for boys and girls: basketball, track, soccer, and baseball/softball. The injury rate in basketball was very similar for girls and boys (RR=1.00; 95%CI: 0.82-1.20), while in track, the rate ratio for was 1.23 (95%CI: 0.91-1.67). For both soccer and baseball/softball, a modest elevation was observed in the boys' competitions, with RRs of 1.15 (95%CI: 0.93-1.42) and 1.16 (95%CI:0.90-1.51). CONCLUSIONS: The increased injury rate for boys is almost entirely due to their participation in football. Gender differences in the injury rates diminish markedly when the comparison is restricted to similar sports. However, minor differences appear to persist. Further research is needed identify to the causes of these residual differences.
Learning Objectives: Participants will learn to distinguish gender differences in injury rates and patterns in high school athletics
Keywords: Physical Activity, Injury Prevention
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA