The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and the NCAA have released a report on injury rates in collegiate athletics, with the hopes of reducing such rates through preventive medical treatment and changes in a sport’s rules.
Through their Injury Surveillance System (ISS), both organizations analyze data collected from trainers in 15 collegiate sports over 16 years. The initial version of ISS focused on sports with higher instances of acute (vs. repetitive motion) injuries and on team sports with a higher likelihood of physical contact, thus ruling out swimming, tennis, and cross country. In 2004, they switched to a web-based system which monitored all sports.
Randy Dick, Associate Director of Research at ISS, hopes to have enough information within a year to include tennis in their findings. “There is a learning curve to the new system,” he wrote to Tennis Served Fresh via e-mail. “A few schools (have begun) to report tennis data and we hope that number increases as more people become aware of the system’s expansion.”
The findings will appear in the Journal of Athletic Training. You can find raw(er) data here.
NCAA tennis players suffer from the same ailments that have plagued professional tennis. Injuries, as you may know, affect not only the players, but also spectators and tournament organizers. Also, it’s been a big thorn on the side of pro tennis for a few years. (Currently most glaring is the French Open’s withdrawal list: Hingis, Haas, Murray, Golovin, Peng, Zvonoreva — just to name a few — have dropped out.)
We look forward to seeing how the NCAA will deal with this issue.