New data Australian Sports Commission data shows participants in team sports suffer injury at a higher rate than those participating in individual sports.
The Ausplay Sports Injury Report found said 26 percent of outdoor team sport participants suffered an injury during 2022, whereas 7 percent of individual ball game participants succumbed to an injury over the same time span.
Exercise physiologist Gene Richards said the nature of team sport explains the increased injury toll.
“Team sports involve a lot of lateral movement which requires more agility which heightens the risk of injuries to the lower extremities,” he said.
“A lot of team sports involve physical contact which dramatically increases the risk of contact injuries such as concussions, broken bones and dislocations.”
The data included outdoor team sports, such as Australian rules, baseball, cricket, soccer, hockey, Oztag, rugby league and rugby union.
Mr Richards said the team sports involve explosive lateral movements and a high level of physical contact between participants.
In contrast, the report included sports such as badminton, golf, tennis and snooker under the individual ball game umbrella.
The study also found indoor team sports were hit by injuries at a greater level than most other types of sport, as 15 percent of players dealt with an injury over 2022.
Interesting set of data released by the Australian Sports Commission pertaining to all recorded sport injuries over 2022. My attempt to visualise this data can be seen in the attached image below. @UOWTV #UOWTV pic.twitter.com/RLduo9aTVI
— Mackinley (@Mackinl38232360) May 3, 2023
Waverley College soccer coach and former ballet instructor Bridget Croft said she had noticed more safety protocols in place for coaching team sport.
“There has been a change in the protocol, if they don’t have all their safety gear, they are not allowed to participate in training and in their games,” she said.
Ms Croft said the wight of numbers and reduced communication could be responsible for the number of team sport injuries, particularly when it came to monitoring pre-match stretching and training.
“In a team sport, the coach is always at a disadvantage with the ratio of numbers,” Ms Croft said.
‘You’re relying on your communication skills to get the message across to every single team member, in a limited amount of time, whereas when you’re coaching one on one the communication is a lot clearer.”
More information about sport injuries can be found on the Australian Sports Commission website.