Basketball is one of the most played sports in the world. However, only a few studies have examined the epidemiology of Japanese collegiate men’s basketball injuries. This study investigated the incidence of injury among Japanese collegiate men’s basketball from the 2013/2014 to the 2019/2020 seasons and identified unique patterns by comparing our data with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball data.
Data from Japanese collegiate basketball teams of the Kanto Collegiate Basketball Federation Division I League during the 2013/2014 to 2019/2020 academic years (23 team seasons) were used in this study. Injury rates per 1000 athlete exposures (AEs) and injury proportions were calculated according to events, injury types, body parts, and common injury mechanisms. The injury rate ratio (IRR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) was compared with that from the time-loss injury data from the NCAA’s previous reports.
In total, 480 injuries during 97,515 AEs were reported, leading to an injury rate of 4.92 per 1,000 AEs (95% CI = 4.48–5.36). The overall injury rate was higher in Japan than in the NCAA (IRR = 1.55; 95% CI = 1.39–1.73). Lower extremity injuries occurred most frequently (73.5%). Ankle sprain was the most common injury in Japan, with higher injury rates than in the NCAA (IRR = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.72–2.57). The injury rate of concussion was lower in Japan than in the NCAA (IRR = 0.28; 95% CI = 0.14–0.55).
The rates of overall injury and ankle sprain were higher and that of concussion was lower in Japan than in the NCAA. These results might have been influenced by the environment and level of medical support surrounding Japanese basketball players and indicate an urgent need to improve the medical support systems to protect basketball players from injury.