Epidemiology of American football injuries at universities in the United Kingdom

John M. Bayram*, David F. Hamilton, David H. Saunders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Background: College-level American football injury data are routinely collected; however, data relating to American football injuries at universities in the United Kingdom have never been reported. Purpose: To describe the epidemiology of UK university American football injuries. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Methods: An online survey tool was used to collect the injury data of 410 players from 56 UK university teams who participated in the 2014-2015 British Universities and College Sports American football season. Survey data were collected from January to February 2016 and were analyzed to determine the incidence and patterns of injury. Results: Overall,710 injuries and 204 concussions were self-reported among the 410 participants, of which 334 (81.5%) were injured and 131 (32.0%) experienced concussion symptoms. The rate of injury per 100 athlete-seasons was greater in defensive players(195.3) than offensive players (155.1). The most common injuries were knee and ankle ligament injuries. Most injuries were classified as severe (time loss of>4 weeks). Conclusion: UK university American football injuries differ markedly from those reported for US colleges. UK university players appear to have less playing experience, greater concussion risks, more severe injuries, and a greater proportion of injuries in defensive players versus offensive players.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number10
Early online date29 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • football (American)
  • head injuries/concussion
  • general sports trauma
  • epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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