Thursday, May 23, 2024

‘Deeply concerning’: Widespread support for rule changes in sport to reduce injury

Schools should be obliged to record sports-related injuries, while one in 10 of young people who have suffered at least one sports injury believe it has resulted in a permanent disability.

This is according to research findings by Podium Analytics, the charity committed to reducing injury in sport and launched by former F1 team boss Ron Dennis in 2021, which has published the findings from its Safety in Sport Perception Survey. It includes hockey being seen as one of the highest likelihoods of injury, along with football, rugby and gymnastics.

The findings affirm Podium’s commitment to ensuring long-term participation in sport. They also highlight the need for additional research in sports injury at youth and grassroots level.

The survey of over 2,200 respondents across the UK found that:

Nearly 8 in 10 (78%) of respondents with a preferred sport (they watch, follow or play) are supportive of rule changes which aim to reduce the incidence and impact of injury.

40% of respondents have experienced a sports-related injury. Over one in three (34%) are still affected by the injury today. Of 18–24-year-olds who have suffered at least one sports injury, 9% stated the injury has resulted in a permanent disability.

Almost nine in ten (89%) of respondents with children expect schools to record and monitor sports-related injuries, and 37% of parents/guardians are worried about their child getting injured playing sport.

Half (52%) of respondents agreed that they would be more likely to get injured if participating in sport in a poor state of mind. Yet only 19% of respondents know where to access information on mental health issues in sport.

Andy Hunt, CEO of Podium Analytics, said that research conducted by the charity underlined that sports injury is “common, can have a lifelong impact, and that parents are worried.”

He added: “The fact that nearly one-in-ten of the 18–24-year-olds who have suffered at least one sports injury believe it has resulted in a permanent disability is deeply concerning, so it is no surprise that there is widespread support for rule changes.

“The results also show a vast perception gap amongst parents when it comes to responsibility for tracking sport injuries. 89% of parents expect schools to record and monitor sports-related injury, yet our analysis suggests that less than 5% of schools actually do so. 

Hunt said that there is currently no legal requirement to record sports-related injuries. Podium has since sought to change this with a central system for teachers and coaches to log injuries.

He said: “Either way, these results show there are clear issues for Podium, Sports Governing Bodies, Government, and other stakeholders, to address to help reduce injury in sport.”

England Hockey has created its own injury reporting obligations, which are flowed through to the individual clubs via the sign-up process of a club being a member of the national governing body, and is currently rolling out the Podium Injury Insight platform to all 860 clubs in England at no cost to the sport. 

In the survey, respondents were also asked to name three sports they thought had the highest likelihood of injury. 

Rugby came out on top with 78 per cent, followed by gymnastics, football and hockey.

Are you a parent or have concerns over safety in hockey? Email us

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  1. The FIH have recently asked the hockey community to share their thoughts and ideas on the state and future of the penalty corner. They are thinking hard about the future of the set piece from a spectacle/excitement perspective and safety viewpoint too after a period of heightened technical and tactical development as well of course as a period of pitch/stick development. With understandable and current levels of concern for the safety of players, and considering the perceptions of the game from prospective hockey players (and of course their parents!) it is vital that this area of potential danger is considered by all stakeholders.

  2. The obvious change to improve safety is to apply the backboard height rule to all short corner goals, including deflections.


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