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Sports Injuries

NCAA Sports Science Institute

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The benefits of exercise play an important role in promoting daily well-being and the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hypertension. College athletes are often seen as some of the healthiest members of society, yet participation in competitive sports brings with it unavoidable risks of injury. The NCAA takes appropriate steps to modify safety guidelines, playing rules and standards to minimize those risks and provide student athletes with the best opportunity to enjoy a healthy career. The injury surveillance program collects, analyzes, interprets and disseminates data on injuries in each sport, providing a wealth of information through which we can provide student-athletes with a safe competitive environment.

Why does the NCAA track sports injuries?

Because while injuries are an inherent risk in any sport, understanding the cause of the injuries can help minimize those risks.

How does it help prevent sports injuries?

Once we know how they occur we can take the necessary steps to reduce student-athletes’ exposure to situations that cause injuries. For instance, we can make adjustments to rules – such as eliminating tackling techniques in football or high-sticking in ice hockey – to reduce situations that expose student-athletes to high risks of injury. Or we can adjust equipment requirements and standards to increase safety.

Last Updated: October 16, 2014