This study is an analysis of all “non-game” related injuries in Major League Baseball, which will serve as an initial basis for injury prevention.
The purpose of this study was to perform an analysis of all “non-game” related injuries in Major League Baseball (MLB). No epidemiological study looking at “non-game” injuries for professional baseball players has previously been published. The data will serve as an initial basis for injury prevention, treatment, and future research. (285)
Data was obtained for the 2011-2016 seasons from the MLB Health and Injury Tracking System “HITS”. The HITS database is a comprehensive injury surveillance system for data analysis and research. Non-game injury was defined as all injuries occurring at any time other than during the scheduled game (first pitch to last pitch) and included pre-game, post-game, off-season, batting practice, weight room, work out, and non-work related. Frequency and percentages of non-game versus game related injuries, as well as total days missed are reported and stratified by level of play (major or minor), timing both throughout the year and month within season, position, injury activity, injury location, and mechanism of injury. Chi-square and difference in proportion tests were applied as appropriate to determine significant differences. (834)
There were 53,564 total injuries recorded. Sixty-percent (32,357) were during games and 40% (21,207) were non-game. Total days missed over the study period was 737,529. Fifty-seven percent (418,549) were attributed to injuries during the game and 43% (318,980) resulted from non-game injuries. The percent of non-game related injuries in the minor leagues 41% was significantly greater than non-game related injuries in the major leagues 33% (p<0.001). Starting pitchers were the most commonly injured position. In the minor leagues, both starting and relief pitchers had more non-game injuries than game injuries. Starting pitchers were the only position across both leagues to demonstrate this finding. Non-game injuries were amongst the highest relative frequently during spring training 5,314/8,474 (63%). During the season, September had the highest relative frequency of non-game injuries compared to total injuries, 1,173/2,837 (41%, p<0.001). The majority of the days missed due to a non-game related injury occurred while working out or in the weight room (32%). The most prevalent injury activity to cause a non-game injury was ‘throwing’. This activity made up 27% of the non-game injury count. (1206)
The data obtained is important work for determining prevalence, type, and cause of non-game injuries. Further work is needed to refine the variables to more accurately define the exact activity of non-game injury which will allow coaches, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, and clinicians to modify and alleviate the activities which could be increasing the likelihood of these injuries. (411)