The Relationship Between Year of Eligibility and Injury in NCAA Division I Athletes

Presenter: Meredith Craig

Research Category: Health Sciences
College: Bouve College of Health Sciences
Major(s): Physical Therapy
Graduation Date: 2021
Additional Authors: Jessica Maxwell, Kate Mohn, Eliana Sirkin, Brian Burgos

Introduction: Years of experience may contribute to injuries in student-athletes; however, there does not appear to be any previous literature on this topic. Rationale: Should experience be associated with injury risk, changes to training may be warranted. Methods: The Athletic Training staff of 7 Northeastern NCAA Division I teams collected injury data over the 2019-2020 seasons. We calculated risk ratios for the risk of injury among freshman compared to UC. To adjust for confounding by playing time, we stratified our results into high and low playing time groups, defining high playing time athletes as those that played an average of > 50% per game (except menÕs ice hockey is defined as >25% of the game), up until the time of an injury, preventing confounding due to decreased minutes played due to injury. Results: Our sample included 131 athletes, 38 freshman and 93 UC. The risk of injury among freshman was 60.5% and among UC was 62.4%. There was no difference in injury rates by years of experience (RR 0.97). Among the 66 athletes that played high minutes, freshmen were 20% less likely to be injured than UC (RR 0.80).  Strengths and Limitations: We adjusted for bias due to playing time. However, the statistics presented do not included statistical significance (will be provided in poster). Relevance: This study suggests that high minute playing freshman are less likely to be injured than UC. Potential underlying reasons should be explored in future studies, to help determine whether changes in training is warranted.