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Sports 2013, 1(3), 69-77; doi:10.3390/sports1030069

A Comparison between Australian Football League (AFL) Injuries in Australian Indigenous versus Non-indigenous Players

School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia
AFL Medical Officers Association, Melbourne 3000, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2013 / Revised: 10 September 2013 / Accepted: 11 September 2013 / Published: 16 September 2013
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [318 KB, uploaded 16 September 2013]


It has previously been shown that being of aboriginal descent is a risk factor for hamstring injuries in Australian football. The aim of this study was to review the Australian Football League (AFL) injury database to determine whether there were any injuries where indigenous players had different relative risks to non-indigenous players. Analysis was conducted using data from the AFL injury database, which included data from 4,492 players over 21 years (1992–2012), covering 162,683 player-matches at AFL level, 91,098 matches at lower levels and 328,181 weeks (possible matches) of exposure. Compared to non-indigenous players, indigenous players had a significantly higher risk of hamstring injuries (RR 1.52, 95% CI 1.32–1.73) and calf strains (RR 1.30, 95% CI 1.00–1.69). Conversely, indigenous players had a significantly lower risk of lumbar/thoracic spine injuries (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.41–0.91), groin strains/osteitis pubis (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.58–0.96) and Achilles tendon injuries (RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.12–0.86). The results for the above injuries were also significant in terms of games missed. There was no difference between overall risk of injury (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.96–1.10) or missed games (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.97–1.04). This suggests that indigenous AFL players have the same overall number of injuries and missed games, but a slightly different injury profile. View Full-Text
Keywords: sports injuries; indigenous; aboriginal; Australian football; AFL sports injuries; indigenous; aboriginal; Australian football; AFL
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Orchard, J.; Orchard, J.; Seward, H. A Comparison between Australian Football League (AFL) Injuries in Australian Indigenous versus Non-indigenous Players. Sports 2013, 1, 69-77.

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