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An injury surveillance study among all 18 high school sports in the Puget Sound area of Washington State was conducted for approximately fifteen years, tracing 60,000 athletes who participated in more than 2.5 million days of athletic activity. This technique of injury surveillance, using a Daily Injury Report (DIR) form, was able to follow all sports simultaneously over many years, permitting a large database to be assembled. The data collection instrument (DIR) has been modified to meet the needs of hockey teams. Injury rates are expressed as injuries/100 athletes/season and as injuries/1000 athletic exposures. Injury severity is delineated through significant injuries (“one week” or longer), major injuries (“three weeks” or longer) and out-for-season injuries. Fall sports had more injuries than spring sports. Girls had more injuries than boys did in identical sports. Cross country running and soccer, for both boys and girls, ranked in the first tier of injuries along with football, wrestling and gymnastics. The data produced results that would not have been predicted by the conventional wisdom of the times.
injury surveillance, high school sports, injury severity, data collection
Director, Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship, Jersey Shore Medical Center, Neptune, NJ