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Table 2 Characteristics of injuries to netball players reported in included studies (n = 46)

From: Injuries in Netball-A Systematic Review

Study Injury definition Exposurea Injury rate or proportion of injuries Injury site Type and/or severity of injury Key findingsb
Prospective season competition
Attenborough et al. 2017 [25] Ankle injury time loss >1d Matches and training
Matches 1333 h
Training 4992 h
Total 6325 h
6.75 sprains/1000 PH matches
0.40 sprains/1000 PH training
1.74 sprains/1000 PH total
Ankle Ankle sprains 11 sprains: 9 during matches; 2 during training
Odds ratio for ankle sprain 4.04 × higher (p = 0.04) if reach distance in post-medial direction of SEBT < 77.5% of leg length; trends for relationships between ankle joint laxity, static and dynamic balance and injury risk; no relationships with previous sprain, vertical jump performances or perceived ankle instability
Elphinston et al. 2006 [26] Not stated Not reported 1.3 injuries/player at baseline
0.2 injuries/player after intervention
Pre v. Post intervention:
Ankle—27 vs 25%
Knee—14 vs 50%
Lower back —18 vs 0%
Shoulder—32 vs 25%
Neck—9 vs 0%
Any Implementation of a multidisciplinary integrated sports science and sports medicine approach addressing fundamental functional problems of players resulted in a marked reduction in the number of injuries. Screening and evaluation of players functional performance followed by individualised technical training and conditioning were implemented resulting in a marked reduction (550%) in injuries. No training or overuse injuries after intervention.
Ferreira et al. 2010 [27] Injury sustained during match or training Not reported 1.84 injuries/player Ankle—39.1%
Knee—28.3%
Cervical—8,7%
Minor—35%
Moderate—56.6%
Severe—8.7%
35% of injuries minor; 56.5% moderate (miss 8–21 d); 8.7% severe.
52.2% of injuries associated with incorrect landing.
Inadequate physical or motor abilities (biomechanical deviations, excess body fat, poor balance, and limited explosive power) were identified and may have contributed to injuries.
Finch et al. 2002 [22] Injury led to reduced sporting activity or treatment or adverse economic/social effects 68% training and matches< 2.5 h per week 11.3 (95%CI 9.8–12.9)/1000 PH total Ankle—53.8%
Knee—27.7%
Finger/thumb 26.2%
Lower back—16.9%
Head/face 6.2%
Muscle strain—38.8%
Contusion—24.8%
Ligament sprain—61.2%
Broken bone—8.5%
Moderate—60–70%
Ligament sprains/tears and ankle injuries more common in netball than many other sports.
Most injuries (60–70%) were classified as moderate severity and required treatment by a health professional.
Injury rate in netball lower than AFL, field hockey and basketball.
94.3% of netball players were female.
Hopper 1986 [13] Injury required treatment or resulted in some disability
Minor complaints not included
Match only 5.2% or 50.83/1000 players/match Ankle—58.2%
Knee—15.2%
Hand—13.3%
Other—13.3%
New—71.3%
Recurrent—28.7%
Injury incidence higher in highest grades for both Junior (47%) and Senior (35%) players; more hand injuries in junior players; More new injuries occurred in 1st quarter of matches; More recurrent injuries occurred in 2nd quarter of matches; No association between player position and injury; Knee injury resulted in greater disability than other injuries; Most severe injuries were due to slips or falls.
Hopper et al. 1995 [28] Injury required treatment or resulted in some disability
Minor complaints not included
Match only 5.4% or 0.054/player/match Ankle—84.3%
Knee—8.3%
Hand—2.8%
Other—4.6%
Ligaments—81%
Fracture—11%
Soft tissue—8%
A grade players higher injury rate than lower grade players; 67% ankle injuries were lateral ligament sprains; 10% ankle injuries were fractures; 65% ankle injuries new (35% recurrent); 80% knee injuries new (20% recurrent); 38% ankle and knee injuries attributed to incorrect landing; Referral to hospital: ankle 15%, knee 27%; More injuries in 1st quarter of matches; injuries greater during defensive play (especially goal defence).
Hopper et al. 1995 [29] Injury required treatment or resulted in some disability
Minor complaints not included
Match only 30.6% of players injured Ankle—59.1%
Knee—18.2%
Spinal—18.2%
Achilles—4.5%
Ankle injuries mostly lateral ligament sprains
Knee injuries included 3 ACLs
Injury rate higher in Grade A1 (54%) vs other grades (19%); no injuries during training; injury risk higher in more athletic players (higher vertical jump and anaerobic fitness; less hypermobile; less endomorphic); higher jump ability and less endomorphy explained difference in injury risk between Grade A1 and other grade players; more severe knee injuries than ankle injuries.
Back injuries associated with player contact; ankle and knee injuries associated with landings.
Maulder et al. 2013 [30] Time loss training or game
No history lower limb injury in previous 6 months
Match and training 37.5% of players injured Ankle—22.2%
Calf—22.2%
Knee—22.2%
Achilles—11.1%
Adductor—11.1%
Shin—11.2%
Ankle sprain—22%
Calf strain—22%
Patella tendonosis—22%
Achilles strain—11%
Adductor strain—11%
Shin splints—11%
Asymmetry in turn performance > 10% associated with increased lower limb injury risk.
McKay et al. 1996 [31] Bodily harm resulting in stopped play, substitution, or obvious disability Match and training 17.3 injuries/1000players/season Major or severe injuries 1/250 games Lower limb—65.9%
Upper limb—25.7%
Trunk—4.7%
Head/neck—3.9%
Sprain/strain—62.9%
Bruise/laceration—17.6%
Other—19.5%
Ankle 30.2%, Knee 17.8%, calf/shin 10.1%, hand 20.9%, back 4.7%.
More severe injuries in netball (3.3×) than basketball; Collisions (13.9%), falls (12.6%), poor landings (15.1%), and being hit by the ball (18.2%) were the main injury inciting events.
McManus et al. 2006 [32] Bodily harm resulting in decrease in sports activity, required medical advice or treatment, or had adverse economic or social consequences; Recurrences counted as original only; No injury in previous 3 months Match and training 14/1000 PH Ankle—32%
Knee—17%
Hand/wrist—15%
Back—9%
Sprains—34%
Strains -22%
Bruising—15%
Risk factors for injury: no warm-up (IRR 1.11) and not being open to new ideas (IRR 1.04).
Protective factors regarding injury: training > 4 h/week (IRR 0.66) and having no injury in the previous 12 months (IRR 0.58).
Pickering Rodriguez et al. 2017 [33] Non-contact bodily harm to soft tissues of lower limb and time loss >1 game Match and training 34% injured
11.29 lower body injuries/1000 PH
Elite 19.35/1000 PH
Sub-elite 7.13/1000 PH
Calf—33%
Ankle—25%
Knee—17%
Included strains, sprains, tears, avulsion fractures, impingement, inflammation Higher stiffness in soleus and Achilles increased non-contact lower limb injury risk in elite players only.
Pringle et al. 1998 [34] Bodily harm that impaired a player’s performance Unclear 13/1000 PH
Moderate injuries 6/1000 PH
Ankle
Wrist
Fingers
Sprains most common
8 minor injuries
7 moderate injuries
Incidence of injury in children playing sport is low.
Stevenson et al. 2000 [21] Bodily harm resulting in decrease in sports activity, required medical advice or treatment, or had adverse economic or social consequences Match and training 12.1/1000 PH
20% of players had an injury requiring medical attention
37% injuries were ligament strains or tears
Moderate-severe—20%
Injured players slightly older than non-injured.
Highest rate of injuries occurs in first month of season—IR 28.9/1000 player hours.
20% of netball injuries were graded as moderate-severe but few required hospital admission.
93% of players were female.
Zulkarnain et al. 2019 [35] Self-reported lower limb injuries during training or competition 77 h training
32 h matches
Overall 5.9/1000 PH
Training only IG 5.0/1000 PH
Training only CG 9.7/1000 PH
Ankle 65%
Knee 35%
Sprain 71%
Strain 29%
Intervention reduced training injuries but not match injuries or re-injuries.
Number needed to treat to reduce lower limb training injuries was 3.
Prospective tournaments
Hopper and Elliot 1993 [17] A disability to lower limb or back that caused pain or some degree of dysfunction. Tournament
matches
23% of players sustained lower limb or back injuries Ankle—36.6%
Foot—11.5%
Calf/shin—19.2%
Knee—17.3%
Thigh—1.9%
Back—13.5%
Sprain—40.5%
ACL—3.8%
Strain—1.9%
Tendinitis—11.5%
Fracture—3.8%
Spine—9.6%
Joints—11.5%
Haematoma—7.7%
Medical issues—7.7%
Grade 1—71%
Grade 2—15.4%
Grade 3—13.5%
32.5% of players had an injury at start of tournament—Open 44%; U21 27%; U16 27%.
New injuries 63.5%; Recurrent 36.5%.
Severity: Grade 1 71% of injuries, Grade 2 15.4%, Grade 3 or fracture 13.5%.
Common overuse injuries were shin soreness (38%); retropatellar pain (24%; Older > Younger).
No significant differences in perceived landing techniques between injured and uninjured players.
No relationships identified between types of injury and podiatric variables.
Perceived circumstances of injury: landing 29%), player contact (29%), slip/trip/sudden stop (21%).
Hopper 1997 [20] A disability to lower limb or back that caused pain or some degree of dysfunction. Tournament
matches
24% of players sustained lower limb or back injuries Lower limb/back—24% Any Somatotype did not influence injury incidence.
Mid-field players were more mesomorphic; goal defence players were more ectomorphic; no differences in somatotype between levels of competition.
Hume et al. 2000 [36] Reporting for injury treatment Tournament
matches
5502 player hours
23.8 injuries/1000 PH
139.4 injuries/1000 players
0.14 injuries per player
Ankle—14%
Knee—14%
Leg/thigh—19%
Foot—5%
Upper limb—13%
Torso/pelvis—19%
Head/face—5%
Sprain—37%
ACL rupture—2%
Muscle strain—17%
Bruise/contusion—18%
Graze/abrasion—5%
Shin soreness—3%
Joint—3%
Other—15%
Higher incidence of injuries in younger vs older players; ankle and knee injuries were the most frequent injuries.
Injuries were most commonly attributed to incorrect landings, collisions with players, being struck by the ball, or repetitive movements.
Behaviours identified that may contribute to injury risk or damage were not warming up, not wearing high-cut netball shoes, and finishing the game before seeking treatment for injury.
35.9% of players reported their injury was recurrent but use of preventative strategies such as wobble boards was poor.
Langeveld et al. 2012 [18] Any physical complaint that forced the player to receive medical attention.
Injury severity based on number of matches missed.
Tournament
matches
warm-up and practice sessions
500.7/1000 PH
15% of players injured
Ankle—36.1%
Knee—18.5%
Upper limb—16.1% (fingers 9.3%, wrist 4.9%, hand 1.9%)
Lower leg/Achilles—11.7%
Other—17.6%
Ligament—46.8%
Haematoma—14.8%
Muscle—12.3%
Meniscal—8.8%
Bone (other)—5.4%
Minor—> 70%
95% of injuries during matches, 3% during warm-up, 2% during practice sessions; 60.8% of injuries were associated with contact between players. Findings suggest injuries rates higher in tournaments than in regular season games. 27.8% of all injuries were recurrent: 48.7% of ankle, 21.1% of knee, 29% of lower leg/Achilles, 10.5% of finger injuries. Ankle injuries—89% ligament, 38% to lateral ligament. Most injuries minor (> 70%) with player not missing a game; 11.4% missed 1–2 games; 2% missed 3–5 games; more injuries occurred in 2nd and 3rd quarters; goal defence (22%) and centre (17.6%) were positions injured most.
Coetzee et al. 2014 [19] As per Langeveld et al. 2012 As per Langeveld et al. 2012 500.7/1000 PH
15% of players injured
As per Langeveld et al. 2012 Acute—91.0%
Recurrent—8.8%
Factors associated with injury included previous injury, lack of core stability, lack of neuro-muscular and proprioceptive training.
Flexibility training uptake high but limited evidence of benefit for injury prevention.
Injury incidence higher (1.9×) on cement courts than synthetic surfaces; 80% knee injuries and 89% serious injuries occurred on cement courts.
Smyth et al. 2019 [37] Any injury requiring physiotherapy attention.
Sport incapacity injuries—where player missed part of match or reported reduced capacity.
9 × 40 min matches per team Injury incidence 89.4/1000 PH
U19 > U17 IRR 1.64
Sports incapacity 19.1/1000 PH
Ankle 25%
Foot 12.6%
Trunk 16.5%
Lower leg 9.7%
Head & neck 5.8%
Wrist & hand 5.8%
Pelvic area 4.9%
Shoulder 4.9%
Thigh 2.9%
Ankle sprains 13.6%
Foot blisters 10.7%
Lumbar pain 9.7%
Incapacity 21% of injuries: Ankle n = 4
ACL rupture n = 3
Concussion n = 3
New > recurrent (IRR 9.3)
Trauma 51, Overuse 42 (IRR 1.24)
Main body region injured was lower limb. Joint injuries were 33% of all injuries.
Main circumstances of injury were collision (16.5%), contested landings (12.6%), and running (15.5%).
27% of players arrived at tournament with an existing injury or illness.
Retrospective
Attenborough et al. 2016 [38] Recurrent: two or more sprains to the same ankle   72% previous ankle sprain
47% recurrent ankle sprain
Ankle injuries Sprains High prevalence of chronic ankle instability as indicated by recurrent sprains and perceived ankle instability.
Finch et al. 2006 [39] Injury: any injury associated with participation
Significant injury: required treatment, interfered with daily activities and/or adverse effects on participation or performance in subsequent activity
Participation included in survey 19 injuries/10,000 population
51 injuries/1000 participants
24 significant injuries/1000 participants in netball
Participation rate for netball 389/10,000 population
All injuries and significant injuries Any Conclusions related primarily to comparisons among sports; prevention should be aimed at sports with large participation including netball.
Netball had a lower rate of injury than cricket, horse riding and soccer but more than Australian football, basketball and tennis.
Children lower overall injury rate but more likely to require treatment.
Hopper and Elliot 1993 [17] A disability to lower limb or back that caused pain or some degree of dysfunction.   23% of all players sustained lower limb/low back injuries Right ankle 66.7%
Left ankle 49.6%
Right knee 25.9%
Left knee 17.1%
Retropatellar pain 23.7%
Shin soreness 38.2%
Back pain 33%
Grade 1—71%
Grade 2—15.4%
Grade 3—13.5%
Ankle (58%), knee (22%) and overuse injuries common in netball players.
Back pain more common in Open (11.8%) and U21 (12.2%) than U16 (8.7%) players.
Perceived reasons for injuries: ankle—incorrect landing; knee—slip, trip or sudden stop.
A number of relationships were identified between types of injuries and podiatric variables. Also, only 23% of players had normal foot types, 43% had rear foot varus, 20% had pronated foot postures, 14% had other foot types.
Hopper et al. 1994 [40] A disability to lower limb that caused pain or some degree of dysfunction.   90% > lower limb injuries during career Both ankles 36%
One ankle 16%
Both knee 6%
One knee 13%
Shin 18%
Retropatellar 11%
No injury—8%
1 injury—23%
2 injuries—32%
3 injuries—22%
4 injuries—9%
5–6 injuries—5%
98% of players had symmetrical foot types; 90% experienced at least one lower limb injury.
Bilateral ankle injuries common whereas as unilateral knee injuries more common.
Pronating foot types with rear foot abnormalities were the most common foot types and the types most associated with lower limb injuries.
Pillay et al. 2012 [41] Any physical complaint that occurred during a match or training, irrespective of medical attention or time loss Matches 2/week
Netball training 3.7/week
Gym training 3.4/week
1.9 injuries/player/season
61.8% of players injured/season
National 84.3% injured
State 59.2% injured
Club 54.5% injured
Ankle 37.5%
Knee 28.6%
Other leg 10.6%
Upper limb 12.7%
Other 6.7%
Mild—40%
Moderate—16%
Severe—44%
33% miss > 1 game
State (provincial) players sustained more ankle injuries (56.7%) than club (22.5%) or national (20.8%) players. State players had more knee injuries (61%) than national (26%) or club (13%) players.
Injuries attributed to landing (ankle 29%, knee 19%) and tripping (ankle 8%, knee 6%).
Centre (28%) and goal attack (19%) tended to have higher knee injury rates than other positions.
Singh et al. 2013 [42] Trauma resulting in cessation of play 62.7% netball training > 6 h/week
91.5% fitness training with 71% > 3 h/week
68% of 59 players injured
29% one injury
27% two injuries
12% three injuries
Ankle 55.8%
Knee 41.9%
Wrist 2.3%
23.7% had recurrent injuries
Ankle—ligament sprains/Achilles
Knee—ACL, meniscus, patella tendon
23.7% recurrent ankle or knee injuries
Ankle—71% lateral ligament sprains; 21% Achilles tendonitis; Knee—22% ACL; 17% meniscal; 33% patella tendon; knee injuries in U21 and Senior players (not U16); 23.7% injuries recurring.
Injuries attributed to poor landing (52.5%), collisions (27.5%), playing surface (17.5%), repetitive movements (2.5%). 23.7% of injuries recurring (to ankle or knee).
More injuries to wing attack (31.3%) and goal defence (23.5%) positions.
10.2% reported a foot abnormality; 60% wore medium-cut shoes, 37.3% wore low-cut shoes
Smith et al. 2005 [43] Trauma causing player to cease play and miss > 1 game   35% a netball injury Ankle 42%
Knee 27%
Finger 15%
Other 16%
Any Non-hypermobile (n = 70) 21% injured; moderately hypermobile (n = 51) 37% injured; hypermobile (n = 79) 43% injured; players in more hypermobile groups 3× more likely to be injured.
Risk of injury increased 1.5× with each year of netball played.
Stuelcken et al. 2016 [44] Documented ACL injuries   Wing attack 62.5%
Centre 19%
Goal shooter 12.5%
Wing defence 6%
Left knee n = 10
Right knee n = 6
ACL injuries only Court position: attacking third 44%; centre third 37%; defensive third 19%.
Player: attacking 69%; defending 25%; loose ball 6%.
Circumstances: Landing from jump 81% (receiving pass 77%; block/intercept 23%); repositioning 13%, loose ball 6%; 50% non-contact; 50% indirect contact.
Most injuries in first or fourth quarters of games.
Whatman et al. 2017 [45] Overuse injuries defined as those without a specific identifiable event responsible for their onset
Substantial problems—moderate to severe reductions in or inability to perform training or competition
  Knee problems 31%
Substantial knee problems 10%
Ankle problems 51%
Substantial ankle problems 24%
  Overuse knee and ankle problems Relationships between overuse knee and ankle injuries and movement competency, landing technique, ankle range of motion and jump performance investigated. No relationships identified.
Hospital, clinic or insurance records
Cassell et al. 2003 [46] Medical treatment of netball injuries in injury surveillance   6.9 (5.4–8.3) % of sport and recreation injuries at ED
6.7 (5.1–8.2) % of sport and recreation injury presentations to General Practitioners
  Any Netball was ranked 4th in emergency department presentations and general practitioner presentations after Australian football, cycling and basketball.
Chong et al. 2004 [47] Female ACL injuries at hospital   4 of 13 (31%) female ACL injuries were for netball Knee ACL only All reported as non-contact landing injuries; n = 3 playing for school (mean age 15 years), n = 1 playing for club (25 years); n = 3 injured during match, n = 1 injured during training.
Fernando et al. 2018 [9] Netball injury presentations to ED   > 15 years 38.7/100,000 population
Females 92%
Males 8%
   > 4 years n = 7777 presentations; 5–14 years 2250 (29%); 15–24 years 3151 (41%), 25–44 years 2139 (28%), > 45 years 193 (2%).
Netball ranked 13th out of 20 sports for ED presentations relative to participation.
Finch et al. 1998 [6] Netball injuries at hospital ED   3.7% child/6.6% adult sports injury ED presentations
3.3% child/2.5 adult sports injury hospital admissions
14% injured children and 8% injured adults admitted to hospital
Children n = 1924
Head—5.8%
Upper limb—54.4%
Lower limb—37.3%
Trunk—1.4%
Other—1.1%
Adults n = 3098
Head—4.9%
Upper limb—27.5%
Lower limb—63.9%
Trunk—2.0
Other—1.8%
Lacer/abrasion—3.8%
Haematoma—14.9%
Inflammation—10.7%
Fracture—22.0%
Sprain/strain—43.5%
Other—4.8%
Lacer/abrasion—3.4%
Haematoma—9.3%
Inflammation—10.0%
Fracture—13.3%
Sprain/strain—57.5%
Other—6.3%
Both child and adult netball injuries mostly sprains, fractures and bruising/inflammation.
Upper limb injuries more common in children (54.4%) versus adults (27.5%).
Lower limb injuries more common in adults (63.9%) versus child (37.3%).
Head injuries similar in children (5.8%) and adults (5%).
Flood et al. 2009 [48] Netball injuries at hospital   Annual netball hospitalisation rate 1.4 /1000 participants/year
Fractures 0.4/1000 participants/year
ACL 0.4/1000 participants/year
Knee/leg—37.4%
Ankle/foot—21%
Upper limb—27.2%
Trunk—1.7%
Head/neck—6.6%
Other—6.2%
Fracture—29.5%
Sprain/strain—27.8%
Muscle/tendon—17.3%
Dislocation—10.1%
Other—5.6%
88.9% female.
Fractures were most common injury, mostly forearm fractures, and highest in 5–14-year age group; ACL: 98% of admissions for ACL rupture were elective, in private hospitals, in 25–34-year age group.
Achilles rupture: rate higher (1.7×) for males; highest in 35–44-year age group.
Gwynne-Jones et al. 2011 [49] Netball Achilles injury at hospital   Achilles ruptures 24.0/100,000 population Achilles Ruptures Netball: 24% of all Achilles injuries; 31% of sporting Achilles injuries; 54% of Achilles injuries in women 15–40 years.
Hassan et al. 2001 [50] Fractures occurred participating in sport; resulted in presentation to ED   Netball injuries n = 54
Fractures = 24% of hospital netball injuries
Fingers 75% Fractures n = 13 Place of netball injury: school grounds 100%; netball accounted for 12% of fractures in girls, 2nd after rollerblading. Fractures 24% of netball injuries; 75% netball fractures to forearm or fingers.
Circumstances of netball injury: 61% struck by ball; 23% fall; 8% collision; 8% other.
Hon et al. 2001 [51] Sports related fractures at hospital   Netball injuries n = 3
2.6% of all sports fractures
Fractures Fractures n = 3 33% of female sports fractures due to netball.
Hume 1993 [23] Presentations at hospital, ED, or sports injury clinic or
Insurance claims
  Netball hospitalisation rate 4.3/100,000 population/year
143/100,000 netball players/year
7.7% of sports ED attendances
9.5% netball players injured/year
5.3% sports insurance claims/year
4.5–5.6% netball players injured/year (Clinic data)
Hospitalisation
Head/Face 8.4%
Upper limb 11.2%
Lower limb 79%
Emergency Dept
Head/Face 2.5%
Upper limb 33.4%
Lower limb 49.2%
Insurance claims
Head/Face 19.7%
Upper limb 12.3%
Lower limb 62.6%
Sports Med Clinic
Head/Face 4.6%
Upper limb 24.7%
Lower limb 66.2%
Hospitalisation
Sprain/strain 58.7%
Fracture 20.3%
Dislocation 11.2%
Emergency Dept
Sprain/strain 63.7%
Fracture 9.5%
Contusion 7.4%
Insurance claims
Sprain/strain 56.6%
Fracture 15.1%
Dental 17.0%
Sports Med Clinic
Sprain/strain 73.1%
Fracture 7.5%
Graze 7.5%
26.2–30% of netball injuries recurrent (Clinic data).
Injuries to the ankle, knee and fingers were the most prevalent; injuries to the head/face were more substantial in insurance claims data.
Sprains/strains were the most prevalent types of injury; Fractures were more prevalent in hospital/ED and insurance claims data; Dental injuries only captured in insurance claims data.
Injury severity of hospitalisations: 53.1% minor, 37.8% moderate, 9.1% severe
Hospitalised injuries due to: over-exertion 56.6%; falls 29.3%; struck by person or object 13.3%.
Insurance claims due to: tripping/stumbling 22.6%; being struck 17.3%; lifting/straining 15.5%; loss of balance 14.8%.
Minor injuries more likely treated as Sports Injury Clinic.
Slightly more injuries in wing defence 19.4% and centre 18.7% versus< 15% other positions
Occurrences varied during warm-up (3%); 1st half 43.3%; 2nd half 44.8%; practice 1.5%
89.5% of netball hospitalisations to females; 10.5% to males.
Hume et al. 1994 [24] Presentations at hospital, ED, or sports injury clinic or
Insurance claims
  89.34/100,000 population All Lower extremity most frequent
For ACC claims: sprains/strains dominant
Netball 4th most injuries after rugby union, rugby league and soccer.
Joseph et al. 2019 [3] Injury resulting from trauma while training for or playing netball in approved competition   2.936 claims/1000 participants Knee 42%
Ankle 29%
Wrist 11%
Sprains/ligaments 57%
Fractures 15%
Most claims in 18–24 years (25%) and 25–34 years (30%) age groups.
Slightly more injuries in 2nd quarter of match, but more injuries in quarters 1, 2 and 3 than 4. 92% of injuries occurred during matches.
King et al. 2019 [52] Any injury as a result of sports participation assessed and reported by a registered health practitioner   11748 moderate-to-serious injuries
9 serious injuries
Head & neck 2.4%
Upper limb 10.4%
Lower limb 82%
Other 0.6%
Soft tissue 81.7%
Fracture/dislocation 16.7%
Concussion/brain 0.9%
Laceration 0.4%
Dental 0.14%
Main findings related to costs of injuries.
Kirkwood et al. 2019 [8] Injury related to playing netball   157 injuries Lower Limb 36.4%
Upper Limb 22.7%
Head 2.6%
Fractures 19.5%
Ligament damage 2.6%
Concussion 0.65%
Only one admission to hospital for a severe injury related to netball.
Love et al. 1998 [53] New dental claims that year
Minor—Payment to health professional for treatment; no payment to claimant
  260 netball dental claims/year Dental Dental Netball one of 45 sports and one of top 10 with dental claims. Most dental injury claims were new claims.
Otago et al. 2007 [54] Insurance netball injury claim accepted   9.49 injuries/1000 players Lower limb—85.3%
Upper limb—8.7%
Spine/torso—3.1%
Head/face—2.9%
Ankle sprain 31%
Knee sprain 20.5%
Knee reconstruct 13.6%
Injury costs: Knee 56.9%; ankle 12.7%; calf/Achilles 11.8%.
Recommended injury prevention focus on ankle ligament sprains, knee ligament sprains and Achilles tendon strains; focus on Achilles injury should be in players >25 years
Injury claim rate highest in 30–39-year group; least in 10–14-year group; claim costs highest in 25–29-year and > 40-year groups; least in 10–14-year group.
Purdam 1987 [16] Treatment in physiotherapy department   5.25 injuries/player/year Ankle—13.3%
Knee—12.4%
Lower limb—43.8%
Upper limb—3.8%
Extrinsic—23.9%
Intrinsic—26.7%
Overuse—30.5%
Spinal—20.0%
Author noted the relatively high incidence of calf (10%) and shin (12%) problems in netball players and suggested the training surface may have contributed.
Ankle taping/bracing and preventative wobble board program recommended but identified compliance with recommendations an issue.
Smartt et al. 2009 [55] Public hospital inpatients   5 injuries/100,000 participants Lower leg/knee 57%
Forearm/elbow13%
Wrist/hand 8%
Ankle/foot 6%
Muscle/tendon 46%
Fracture 32%
Sprain/strain 7%
81% female (19% male); injury numbers peaked in 30–34-year age group for males and females
Also, a peak in female injury numbers in 10–14-year age group; overall injury rate increased with age, with highest injury rate in 35–49-year age group; 0–14 years—forearm fractures dominant; > 14 years—Achilles dominant.
  1. ACL anterior cruciate ligament; AFL Australian Rules Football; C centre; ED emergency department; GA goal attack; GD goal defence; GS goal shooter; IR injury rate; IRR incidence rate ratio; Lacer laceration; PH player hours; SEBT Star Excursion Balance Test (Munro and Herrington, 2010); WA wing attack; WD wing defence
  2. aExposure: many studies indicated whether calculations incorporating exposure were match, training or combined but few studies reported the exposure data
  3. bKey findings: reporting injury rates was not the primary aim of all studies, so key findings may relate to risk factors, intervention effects, identifying groups with greater or less injury vulnerability
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