The financial cost of hamstring strain injuries in the Australian Football League

Hickey, Jack, Shield, Anthony, Williams, Morgan D., & Opar, David A. (2014) The financial cost of hamstring strain injuries in the Australian Football League. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48(8), pp. 729-730.

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Hamstring strain injuries (HSIs) have remained the most prevalent injury in the Australian football league (AFL) over the past 21 regular seasons. The impact of HSIs in sport is often expressed as regular season games missed due to injury. However the financial cost of athletes missing games due to injury has not been investigated. The aim of this report is to estimate the financial cost of games missed due to HSIs in the AFL.


Data was collected using publically available information from the AFL’s injury report and the official AFL annual report for the past 10 competitive AFL seasons. Average athlete salary and injury epidemiology data was used to determine the average yearly financial cost of HSIs for AFL clubs and the average financial cost of a single HSI over this time period.


Across the observed period, average yearly financial cost of HSIs per club increased by 71% compared to a 43% increase in average yearly athlete salary. Over the same time period the average financial cost of a single HSI increased by 56% from $25,603 in 2003 to $40,021 in 2012, despite little change in HSI rates during the period.


The observed increased financial cost of HSIs was ultimately explained by the failure of teams to decrease HSI rates, but coupled with increases in athlete salaries over the past 10 season. The information presented in this report will highlight the financial cost of HSIs and other sporting injuries, raising greater awareness and the need for further funding for research into injury prevention strategies to maximise economical return for investment in athletes.

Impact and interest:

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12 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 62754
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Hamstrings, Injury, Financial cost, Australian Football
DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092884
ISSN: 0306-3674
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine
Deposited On: 14 Oct 2013 00:19
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2014 04:53

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