Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Archive for January 10, 2007

Jan. 10, 2007 — Incidences of injury, part 3

For another look at injuries in a field hockey-playing state, consider the injury reports published by field hockey coaches in the state of New York.

In 2005, 44 injuries were reported amongst 233 schools’ varsity teams and their 3,713 players. In 2002, 35 injuries were reported amongst 213 varsity teams and 3,644 participants.

Now, New York’s high-school field hockey season is similar to Pennsylvania’s, where the season runs roughly 12 weeks from the start of training camp to the end of the regular season. The postseason cuts down the number of participating teams as precipitously as Pennsylvania does, so we can conservatively add a half a week to the length of the season to account for tournament games.

We are also going to assume that the exposure to field hockey will remain the same as in Pennsylvania, but since the pool of players in the New York numbers is apparently only the varsity, we can cut down the exposure to three hours a day, five days a week; individual players will still be practicing, but are limited to two halves a day.

Using the same formula as yesterday, the head injury rate per playing hour in New York scholastic field hockey was .00005123 in 2002, and .00006320 in 2005.

Compare that with yesterday’s figures. Does that mean that New York’s field hockey is significantly more hazardous than Pennsylvania’s? Numbers don’t lie, but you need to understand that we extrapolated the Pennsylvania head injury numbers using a national participation average for all schools rather than counting up every single field hockey participant.

But what you need to understand is that field hockey is, statistically, a very safe sport in which to play. Proper tackling, paying attention, and proper competition surface maintenance can all alleviate the need for protective eyewear.