Since the introduction of professionalism to rugby union, the number ofplayers injured has risen dramatically. “Thecohort study previously conducted in players from senior rugby clubs in theScottish Borders in 1993–1994 when rugby union was an entirely amateur sportwas repeated in 1997–1998” (WM Garraway,2000, p348). Rugby union was made a professional sport in 1995 afterthe 1995 World Cup in South Africa. As aresult pro players had to adjust to the strains of the greater physical demandsand mental sturdiness required from them as full-time professionals (W M Garraway, 2000).
The study for the outcomeof injuries along with the “calculation ofplaying hours at risk were the same as in the study carried out in the1993–1994 season.2 A rugby injury was defined as one sustained during acompetitive match which prevented the player from training or playing rugbyfrom the time of the injury or from the end of the match in which the injurywas sustained. An injury that allowed a player to return to rugby or rugbyrelated practice within seven days of its occurrence was classified astransient.
” (W M Garraway, 2000, p348). As for the results, the hours ofcompetitive rugby player were lower between 1997-1998, however the totalpercentage of injured players nearly doubled as it rose “from 27% in1993–1994 to 47% in 1997–1998” (W M Garraway, 2000,p348). Injuriesin rugby is an international issue as it happens in multiple countries, i.e.Scotland as previously shown but also In Australia as via the reading from ABathgate as “Rugby Union is an international sportranking second in participation only to soccer as a football code” (A Bathgate, 2002, p265). Over the last 15 years there’s been a significant rise ofinvolvement for rugby in Australia (A Bathgate,2002) which collates withthe increase in injuries as if there are more people playing the number ofinjuries will rise undoubtedly, however there is no stat provided by A Bathgateto back up this claim. However, A Bathgate does provide theory for the increasein injuries to test level players. The play is now quicker, the playersthemselves are stronger, bigger and more fit, which means the collisions in thetackles and carries are harder.
Also, since professionalism in 1995, the ballhas been shown to be in the field of play for longer periods of time at theelite level, meaning the level of collisions in game are higher, thus thechance of injury is higher to. Also, due to professionalism, elite players areable to focus more of their time upon improving their physical attributes (A Bathgate, 2002). This is shown as “In the two years of injury data collectionbefore the onset of professionalism, there was an injury rate of 47injuries/1000 player hours. This has increased to 74 injuries/1000 player hoursin the four years since then.” (A Bathgate, 2002, p268). This literature does well insuggesting the reasons for the increase in injuries to players due to theincreased element of strength and conditioning along with provide figures uponthe increased frequency of the injuries themselves over time. J PBest conducted a survey in which he recorded injury patterns throughout the2003 Rugby World Cup.
Best claims in his research that “Jakoet et al reported 70 injuries from 55 games in theamateur era RWC 1995—an overall injury rate of 32 per 1000 player game hours” (J P Best, 2005, p812). The 1995 WRC wasthe last amateur world cup before rugby became professionalized afterwards in1995. Best recorded that at the “2001 Under-21 Championships, 50injuries occurred in 16 games played between eight teams over two weeks,resulting in a rate of 78 per 1000 player game hours,” (JP Best, 2005, p812) thisis a subsequent increase in injuries per 1000 player game hours from 32 to 78,six years after the introduction of professionalism to rugby, showing that theincreased physicality due to players having more time to focus on theirstrength and conditioning via professionalism has increased the rate ofinjuries.
An injury was defined as a medical or injury condition caused by anevent in the game which forced the player to vacate the field of play or miss asuccessive game (J P Best, 2005). In his finding Best found that thetotal injury level was 98 injuries over the course of 1000 player game hourswhich is a high number when matched with previous Rugby World Cups (J P Best, 2005). “Jakoet et al4 reported an injury rate approximately one thirdof that reported here for the 1995 RWC in South Africa, the last RWC in theamateur era” (J P Best, 2005) which consequently shows thatprofessionalism has impacted the increase in injury frequency to rugby players.(J P best, 2005). Best does well in giving reasons for the increasein injuries to rugby players i.e.
the effect professionalism has upon the collisionsin rugby which leads to more injuries. However, this paper is from 2005 whichmeans whilst it gives relevant knowledge as to the reasons for the increase ininjuries, it doesn’t hold relevance to current injury issues in rugby. Therugby injuries review conducted by KM Kaplan and his colleague sin the US in2008 looked into the increase in rugby related injuries. They found that thesurge in injuries suffered by both elite pro players and amateur players hasbeen as of the result from an increase in the weight of the importance thatstrength, endurance and pace hold now since professionalism in 1995 (KM Kaplan, 2008), this thus correlates back to what J P Bestand Bathgate said in their findings, that the increase in strength andconditioning has had an impact on the number of injuries caused by on fieldcollisions. KM Kaplan also claims that another reason for a rise in injuriesfor amateur players is use of improper pregame training and a smaller offseasonfor which they are allowed to recover along with improper training technique (KM Kaplan, 2008).
AsBrooks clarifies in his finding, in all sport there is risk of injury, howeverrugby injuries appear to be more common than any other sport, this mainly beingdown to the impacts and tackles being a defining part of rugby itself (Brooks, 2008). The fact that the ball is now in the fieldof play for a longer period of time means the overall number of tacklesincreases along with the amount of rucks formed, giving more opportunity for aninjury to occur as a result. (Brooks,2008).Brooks finds that most of the injuries sustained whilst playing rugby occurduring a tackle. The tackle itself accounts for nearly 50% of all injuriescaused during a game, whilst a larger majority of injuries happen when being onthe receiving end of a tackle (Brooks,2008). Fromthe trends in Brooks’ findings, there is a “highincidence of injury compared with other team sports; an apparent increase ininjury risk since the advent of professionalism in both the professional andamateur games,” (Brooks, 2008, p66). Brooks does well in identifying thereasons for the increase in injuries due to professionalism in 1995 and thatthe majority of injuries occur around the tackle, however in correlation withthe other literatures, there is a lack of variety in the findings due to theapparent lack of research upon rugby injuries, thus giving us a “gap” in ouroverall knowledge.
Idecided to conduct my own research into this topic via my research question“why have the number of rugby related injuries increased in recent years.” Inorder to conduct my study, I will be using interviews as my qualitative methodof research. Interviewing is a “systematic enquiry” in which there’s nosuggestion of the term “researcher” with the idea of the interviewer is in fullcontrol of the events in the interview, choosing the necessary approach to theinterview is a practiced act which requires being able to have a standpointupon complicated and vital enquiries upon the desired topic at interest (Arksey H, 1999) Thereare various different versions of interviews, each of which contain differentquestions which are correct in singular circumstances (Beth L Leech, 2002). “Unstructuredinterviews, often used by ethnographers, are really more conversations thaninterviews, with even the topic of conversation subject to change as theinterview progresses;” (Beth L Leech, 2002, p665) As a result of these testing incidents,unstructured interviews are most appropriate as of when the interviewer himselfhas a lack of awareness upon the topic itself and needs a more insiderstandpoint to base his claims off. However, as a result of the casual nature ofthis interview, the discussion can as a result become of topic and not relevantto the investigation. This means that the interview can almost never ensure toprovide consistent records which can be comparatively compared across multiple issues.This means that consequently unstructured interviews should only be used forgetting an understanding of the topic and not for postulation.
(Beth L Leech, 2002). Sometimesthough we already possess a lot of information on very precise inquiries.Should the researcher academic already know a decent amount about the topic athand, they only need to count the reactions to a specific answer, document Itand then record it. These structured interviews tend to use closed-endedquestions as these are the most fitting, however these types of questions cango wrong though as should we believe that we are accustomed with a section butthen go onto ask the incorrect questions at the wrong way which can lead us tooverlooking a critical response option.
This means that we may end up withconsistent data which doesn’t have any rationality. (Beth L Leech, 2002). Semi-structuredinterviews though can provide us with aspect, profundity and an insider’sperspective, while allow giving us the ability to undergo hypothesis testingalong with quantitative analysis which leads onto interview responses. Semi-structured interviewing uses open-ended question, this format is often used by eliteinterviewers.
(Beth LLeech, 2002). Selectinga sample to study is a crucially important phase in any enquiry as it’s impracticaland not efficient to survey an entire population ((Marshall, 1996) The aim of sampling “is to draw a representative sample from the population, sothat the results of studying the sample can then be generalized back to thepopulation.” (Marshall, 1996, p552). There is stratified random samplingalong also with area sampling which are both variation of random sampling whichallows us to create a representative sample to represent the population. (Marshall, 1996). This comes through purposefulsampling in which in data-rich cases there’s an in-depth study by which muchcan be learnt about a central issue of meaning in relation to theinvestigation. (Patton, 2002).
I usedthe semi-structured approach to interviews as it was the best suited one to usefor my research question in collecting the relevant data. This was mainly dueto the open-ended questions which allowed the participants to elaborate upontheir answers and give me more context to their replies. I interviewed my Flat mateabout his rugby related injuries and applied this to my investigation.
I usedthe semi-structured interview process along with putting myself as theinterviewer, allowing Patrick to answer in his own context consequently. Iconsequently found that Patrick had suffered multiple injuries to his lowerlimbs and particularly his fingers. When questioned on why he thought this wasthe case he mentioned the increased input upon strength and conditioning due tothe prospect of professionalism giving players extra incentive to train harder,thus collating with the idea of professionalism causing more injuries (See appendices). Overall,I would’ve changed a decent amount about my project and how I constructed it fully.I think it would’ve been a better idea to conduct an observation as a more efficientfield method as “Participantobservation combines participation in the lives of the people under study withthe maintenance of professional distance that allows observation and recordingof data” (Fetterman, 1998,p34-35) as it would’ve allowed me to conduct amore reliable sample with multiple people compared to my single interviewee. Ialso could’ve gone onto implement Ethnography into my project as it “involvesthe researcher participating, overtly or covertly, in people’s daily lives foran extended period of time, watching what happens, listening to what is said,asking questions through informal and formal interviews, collecting documentsand artefacts” (Hammersley 1995,p.3) making use of both interviewing andtextual analysis.
There are three essential components to Ethnography inapplicant observation, interviewing and textual analysis (Wolcott, H. F. 2008) which in the future I will aim to apply to my project inorder to make my data more reliable as a consequence by taking in more than oneindividual to make my case. ReferenceResearch Arksey H, Knight P (1999) Interviewing for Social Scientists: Anintroductory resource with examples. London: Sage.
uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=sqckq71cBs0C&oi=fnd&pg=PP9&dq=Arksey+H,+Knight+P+(1999)+Interviewing+for+Social+Scientists:+An+introductory+resource+with+examples.+London:+Sage.+&ots=JN9e7IjJW_&sig=0xlqGFKZFl7vNeVyRPRZOgQ-wcI#v=onepage&q&f=false ABathgate, JP Best, G Craig… – British Journal of Sports …, 2002 -bjsm.bmj.comhttp://bjsm.
bmj.com/content/bjsports/36/4/265.full.pdf Beth L LeechPS : politicalscience and politics , 2002, Vol.
1017/S1049096502001129&title=Political+science+%26+politics&volume=35&issue=4&date=2002&spage=665&issn=1049-0965&vid=44BAT_services_page&institution=44BAT&url_ctx_val=&url_ctx_fmt=null&isSerivcesPage=true Fetterman, D. M. (1998). Ethnography Step by Step (2ndEdition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Hammersley, M., & Atkinson, P.
(1995). Ethnography:Principles in practice. London, UK: Routledge. John HM Brooks Simon PT KempClinics insports medicine. , 2008, Vol.27(1), p.51-73https://ac.els-cdn.
com/S0278591907000737/1-s2.0-S0278591907000737-main.pdf?_tid=f2de682a-dec9-11e7-9da8-00000aacb35f&acdnat=1513034640_299374a86792f530ca56e25535ab7641 J P Best A S McIntosh T N SavageBritishjournal of sports medicine. , 2005, Vol.39(11), p.812-817http://bjsm.
bmj.com/content/bjsports/39/11/812.full.pdf Km KaplanBulletin ofthe NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. , 2008, Vol.66(2), p.86https://www.
kevinkaplanmd.com/wp-content/themes/ypo-theme/patient-forms/rugby-injuries.pdf Martin N MarshallFamilypractice. , 1996, Vol.
13(6), p.522-526https://watermark.silverchair.com/13-6-522.pdf?token=AQECAHi208BE49Ooan9kkhW_Ercy7Dm3ZL_9Cf3qfKAc485ysgAAAb8wggG7BgkqhkiG9w0BBwagggGsMIIBqAIBADCCAaEGCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQMjSn9KvdB5SL7QuxhAgEQgIIBciOeeX8T9g4898Q8e-X0Odi8oxYcSBvxD4522h4ZYy5uTk3h6OmlYf1Pk8dM-LSL6xuePaZoKWdppLIeMiHpY9kmpGZpNMrB-HCkAB_rY-1G-X7BwMZoanpIfRn7nVCYrkxtocoXaGOH9adZGGjA3pXfmWqYGGIvbLbomeIGF0CZ7tfOcuQjKymbB7Jdecq4LbdTbmYVhRrcw1agOxtNlzQyYCkIwak2FTAJjzxX2etRFI8wCDRLkX-QpRlkUgH4-MCjHfVWe19EU69XF4FY8ab1N5bE2nFxKEApH6OOm-Bhs0sbpX_d9e3iQoZbN_Ur_keuKmdorkIRN1uXcKwDK3esld6qwM3tTTMPNo7gAJBnz4bDKbDQLveqKGI-8Vxo2BJ3qNitYEYdT-1sCaFEPMSUXcSvuZRP7y73CO_INoYoNYbZGj6F0jgAE7_eFpGgmOaa6g6d5Lh9XIJ8Mtgkqzq305Rbb64Mh2y48KhiXlO_tQ4 Michael Quinn PattonQualitativesocial work , 2002, Vol.1(3), Wolcott, H. F. (2008).
Ethnography: a way of seeing. Lanham,MD: Alta Mira Press WMGarraway, AJ Lee, SJ Hutton, E Russell… – British journal ofsports …, 2000 – bjsm.bmj.comhttp://bjsm.bmj.
com/content/bjsports/34/5/348.full.pdf Appendices Interview protocol: Held in Universityof Bath library on Tuesday the 8th of December 2017 Subject: Patrick Reynolds Introductory:Can you tell me about your injury profile? Do you remember when you had yourlast injury? PR: I’ve had multiple injuries in myhands, particularly my fingers and also injures around my lower body, particularlyby groin and hamstring.
My last injury was about 2 weeks ago on my fingers. Follow-up:You stated earlier about your injury history. how often did these pains a tweakhappen in your injured areas? PR: I think the pain is constant andit does at times keep me from playing, I broke my thumb a year ago and I wasunable to play for a year. Probing: Can youexpand on this experience? PR: It was mentally hard andphysically difficult as such a minor injury kept me out for so long.
Specifying:What was your reaction to your injury? PR: I was initially very upset as itmeant I wasn’t going to be able to play for a whole year, however I realized thatin the long term the proper recovery was going to be needed to try and preventthis happening again in the future. Direct: Have you been involved in a major injury PR: I was once concussed as a resultof a tackle which was more serious than jut my usual aches and pains. Indirect:How do you think your teammates perceived this situation. PR: It was hard for my teammates asI was basically out for the entire season and our strength in depth was alteredconsequently, it properly tainted team morale also. Silence:Gives time for the interviewer and interviewee contemplate Providing time forboth interviewee and interviewer to Interpreting/Clarifying: So would you say, since playingrugby at senior level (18+), you’ve experienced more injuries? If so why do youthink this is.
PR: I’d defiantly say I’ve becomemore injured since playing at senior level, probably due to the increased emphasison strength and conditioning aspect due to professionalism giving players more emphasisto improve their physical game as a result