The take on youth rugby in Canada: Video-analyses examining suspected injuries, concussions, and match events in youth rugby players

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This MSc thesis contains two video analysis projects focused on Canadian youth rugby. The first project evaluated game play from one season for events, injuries, and an exploratory analysis into the effect of pitch density on these rates. The second study compares event and injury rates from one high-school 7s and 15s rugby season in both sexes. Objective: To determine the match event, suspected injury, and concussion rates in youth club rugby in males and females (U13, U16, U18) and also between 7s and 15s rugby in female and male senior high-school rugby players. Methods: This is a cross-sectional video analysis study utilizing club video from June to September 2021 and high-school footage from March to June 2022. Video was coded using Nacsport video analysis software. Suspected injuries and concussions were reviewed based on previously validated criteria following an inter-rater reliability assessment. Results: In club rugby, the highest suspected injury rate of 234 injuries-per-1000-hours (95% CIs; 116.8 – 418.7) was found in U13 females, a 3-fold higher rate that U13 males and a 4.6-fold higher rate than U16 females. Concussions followed a similar trend with significantly higher rates found in U13 and U18 females compared to U16. In high school, the highest injury rates were found in rugby 7s, with 205.1 suspected injuries-per-1000-hours (95% CIs; 98.3 – 377.1) in females and 223.6 suspected injuries-per-1000-hours (95% CIs; 115.5-380.6) in males. The tackle was consistently the most injurious event in all cohorts. Smaller field sizes (higher pitch density) resulted in higher suspected injury rates. Conclusions: Canadian youth rugby players hold a unique set of risk factors due to the cultural landscape of rugby in Canada and the associated inexperience. High suspected injury and concussion rates in youth warrant further investigation into tackle specific injury prevention tools, specifically in females.
Rugby, Female, Athlete, Youth, Athletic injury, Concussion, Video-analysis
Price, T. M. (2023). The take on youth rugby in Canada: video-analyses examining suspected injuries, concussions, and match events in youth rugby players (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from