Field Hockey isn’t a sport you think of when you talk about injuries. Let me tell you, though, you watch women’s field hockey and you quickly find out why there can be injuries. The women sprint around the field, whack a hard ball and move in and out of people with their heads down.
When my daughter started playing field hockey, I didn’t think much of the injury possibilities, but after the first game I knew it was an injury magnet.
The NCAA does a great job of tracking injuries through a surveillance system they have adopted. Each team is responsible for reporting injuries including:
- Type of Injury
- Practice of Game Injury
- When the Injury Occurred
The data is collected and analyzed, so people like me can tell you what the top 5 most common injuries in women’s field hockey are season after season.
1) Ankle Sprain – Coming in at number with 14% of all practice and game injuries is ankle sprain. Oh, that dastardly injury that can hobble even the most skilled and fit athlete. I can understand why ankle sprains are so high on the list given the constant stopping, starting and cutting on the field.
2) Knee Sprain – Comes in at number 2 and occurs more in games than practice. Again, with the stopping, starting and cutting I can understand it. 10% of all injuries are knee sprains, which can take a long rehab period to recover from.
3) Concussion – This is the first surprise on the list. With their heads down and weaving in and out, I thought for sure concussions would be higher, but they aren’t. Coming in at 9%, concussions come in third place. I’ve long wondered why helmets aren’t required in field hockey, but this could explain it. With a limited number of concussion injuries, it might not be worth it.
4) Thigh Strain – This is the second surprise on the list, but it makes sense. The findings said it was upper thigh issues, which are quadriceps issues. 7% of the injuries are thigh strains, which seem to be high to me given the fitness level.
5) Fractured Finger – This is an injury where I didn’t think would be on the list, but since it comes in fifth I completely understand. 6.5% of all field hockey injuries are fractured fingers, which makes sense. The sticks used can compress fingers very easily through slamming against someone’s stick.
Given the number of players in field hockey, this lists represents an excellent cross-section of the top injuries.