The sex-based differences in the structure and rules of boys' and girls' lacrosse result in very different styles of play, which may have significant implications for the rates and patterns of injuries.
To compare the epidemiology of injuries sustained by boys' and girls' lacrosse players.
Descriptive epidemiology study.
Web-based online surveillance system.
The High School Reporting Information Online database was used to analyze injuries reported by certified athletic trainers from 2008-2009 through 2015-2016.
Practice and competition injury rates, body site, diagnosis, and mechanism.
Boys had a higher injury rate than girls (20.9 versus 15.7 per 10 000 athlete-exposures, respectively; rate ratio = 1.3, 95% confidence interval = 1.2, 1.4). The most commonly injured body sites for boys and girls, respectively, were the lower extremities (38.0%, 56.4%) and the head/neck (28.3%, 29.8%). More specifically, the most frequently diagnosed injuries for both boys and girls, respectively, in competitions were concussions (23.1%, 25.6%), ankle ligament sprains (7.8%, 15.3%), upper leg strains (4.8%, 6.7%), and knee ligament sprains (4.2%, 6.7%). The most cited mechanism of injury overall was contact with another player (22.0%); among boys, it was contact with a stick (14.8%) and among girls, the most frequent mechanisms were overuse (25.0%) and contact with a stick (14.7%).
Injury rates and mechanisms of injuries differed between high school boys' and girls' lacrosse players. Boys had a higher rate of injury, with the most common mechanism of injury being contact with another player compared with overuse in girls. However, similarities were seen between sexes for the most frequently injured body sites and injury diagnoses. Future authors should continue to compare differences in injury rates, equipment upgrades, and rule changes in boys' and girls' lacrosse.