August 2021

Middle School Wrestling Injury Rate Higher Than Previous Reports

Another study from the ACHIEVES project reported at the National Athletic Trainers’ Associations’ 2021 NATA Virtual Clinical Symposia & AT Expo described the epidemiology of injuries sustained by middle school age wrestlers in a large metropolitan school division as limited data about wrestling existed at the middle school level. Here the researchers found:

  • Middle school wrestlers have a higher overall injury rate than previously reported among middle school, high school, and collegiate wrestlers.
  • The “time loss” injury rate was similar in competition and practice.
  • The most common “time loss” injuries were strains (23.3%), contusions (21.8%), general medical conditions (13.5%), and concussions (7.6%).

This retrospective descriptive epidemiology study was conducted as part of the Advancing Healthcare Initiatives for Underserved Students (ACHIEVES) project. Data was examined from competitive wrestling seasons at nine (2015/16 to 2018/19) and 16 (2019/20) middle schools, respectively. Overall, 1432 injuries were reported for 38,297 AEs. 83% of time-loss injuries were mild, 10.9% were moderate, and 6.1% were severe.

The research team concluded that further research is needed to better understand practice-related injury risk factors that can inform risk reduction strategies in this actively growing population.

Source: Fleming PR, Hacherl SL, Kelshaw PM, et al. The Epidemiology of Injuries in Middle School Wrestling Between the 2015-16 and2019-20 School Years. J Athlet Train. 2021;56(6):S-146.

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