Injuries impact health and hamper performance in elite field-hockey players

One of our latest studies describes the prevalence, incidence density, severity, and nature of injuries in elite Dutch field hockey players. Players were followed during a full season, and reported every 2 weeks their hours spent on training and competition, as well as any experienced injuries, which were registered using the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre Questionnaire. On average, one in 4 elite field hockey players experiences an injury within a 2-week period during the season. Although acute injuries are common, overuse injuries pose a comparable problem in elite field hockey. Since injuries are a burden on players’ health and may hamper performance and availability for training/competing, prevention is of great importance.


This study provides knowledge on the magnitude, severity, and nature of injuries experienced by elite field hockey players. While injuries may hamper players’ performance and availability for training and competing, prevention is essential in field hockey, and the use of protective equipment has been encouraged in previous studies. The use of protective equipment is important for injury prevention. However, the present study shows that non- contact injuries, that may not be preventable with protective gear, are also a burden on field hockey players' health. In sports, these injuries may be prevented with structured exercise, and load management. Therefore, the investigation of such strategies is encouraged in elite field hockey.

In addition, the methods employed in the present study are relatively simple to be used in real-life settings to capture minor injuries, enabling health professionals to act earlier in order to prevent minor injuries from becoming severe and costly. Such methods have been used in previous research to register health problems in different sports, and enable recording health problems from athletes regardless of their consequences (i.e. required medical attention or time loss) and nature (i.e. acute/overuse).

Delfino Barboza S, Nauta J, van der Pols MJ, et al. Injuries in Dutch elite field hockey players: A prospective cohort study. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2018;174:801.

The full article can be accessed here (open access)