The purpose of this study was to report the incidence, site, and nature of injuries in amateur rugby league. Six hundred players registered with an amateur rugby league organisation (Toowoomba Second Division Rugby League) were studied over three consecutive seasons. All injuries sustained during the amateur rugby league matches were recorded. Information recorded included the date and time of injury, name of injured player, anatomical site and nature of injury, and position of the player.
The incidence of injury was 160.6 per 1000 player-position game hours, with forwards having a significantly higher incidence of injury than backs (182.3 per 1000 vs 142.0 per 1000, p<.001). Over 25% (40.6 per 1000) of the total injuries sustained throughout the three-year period were injuries to the head and neck, while injuries to the face (21.3 per 1000, 13.3%), abdomen and thorax (21.3 per 1000, 13.3%), and knee (17.8 per 1000, 11.1%) were less common (p<.01). Muscular injuries (haematomas and strains) were the most common type of injury (45.7 per 1000, 28.5%, p<.05). Significantly more injuries occurred in the latter stages of the season (p<.001), with most injuries (70.8%, p<.001) sustained in the second half of matches.
The results of this study demonstrate that muscular injuries and injuries to the head and neck are the most frequently sustained injuries in amateur rugby league. Furthermore, injuries are more frequently sustained in the latter stages of the season and during the second half of matches. These findings suggest that fatigue and/or accumulative microtrauma may contribute to injuries in amateur rugby league.