Synthetic playing surfaces increase the incidence of match injuries in an elite Rugby Union team

Cousins, B.E.W., Morris, J.G. ORCID: 0000-0001-6508-7897, Sunderland, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-7484-1345, Bennett, A.M., Shahtahmassebi, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-0630-2750 and Cooper, S.B. ORCID: 0000-0001-5219-5020, 2021. Synthetic playing surfaces increase the incidence of match injuries in an elite Rugby Union team. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. ISSN 1440-2440

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Abstract

Objectives: To examine differences in match injury incidence between three playing surfaces in elite Rugby Union.

Design: Prospective cohort.

Methods: Match injury incidence was assessed in 89 elite Rugby Union players over two-seasons of professional competition (44 matches, 1014 h player exposure). Match injury incidence was assessed on three different playing surfaces; natural grass, hybrid (natural grass combined with approximately 3% synthetic fibres) and fully synthetic (sand and rubber infill). Overall injury incidence, contact and non-contact injury incidence, and the incidence of minor (≤7 d lost) and major (≥8 d lost) injuries were considered using mixed effect models.

Results: Overall match injury incidence doubled on hybrid and synthetic surfaces compared to natural grass (hybrid: OR = 2.58 [95% CI 1.65–4.03], p  0.05).

Conclusions: The present study suggests that even a small percentage (3%) of synthetic content in the playing surface significantly increases match injury incidence, with an effect seen on both contact and non-contact injury incidence. These findings are important to enable practitioners to be aware of the injury implications of playing matches on hybrid and synthetic pitches.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Creators: Cousins, B.E.W., Morris, J.G., Sunderland, C., Bennett, A.M., Shahtahmassebi, G. and Cooper, S.B.
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Date: 28 August 2021
ISSN: 1440-2440
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.jsams.2021.08.019DOI
1486769Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 12 Nov 2021 10:49
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2021 10:49
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/44738

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