A report published today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that among Australian rules players who are 15 and above, there were 734.3 cases of hospital treatments per 100,000 participants, compared with 677.9 for rugby league. Union and Soccer were way behind to even compete - on 316.9 and 242 hospital treatments per 100,000 participants. Touch football was by far considered the safest, with 121.2 per 100,000 participants. The frequent type of injury was Fractures.
The report is based on figures from 2002-03, when hospitals were, for the first time asked to maintain a record of sports injuries. James Harrison, head of the National Injuries Surveillance Unit at Flinders University, which compiled the report, issued a word of caution. Though these figures might really make Australian football look like the 'bad brother', one must consider several other factors. For example, rugby codes had higher incidences of neck injuries.