Introduction: Rugby Sevens is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, especially the sevens variant after its inclusion in the Summer Olympics’ programme. The Portuguese University Sevens Championship is an amateur tournament that takes place every year.
Objectives: To gather a set of relevant data regarding the profile of the Portuguese university rugby sevens’ players, as well as the epidemiology of injuries at this level of competition.
Methodology: Firstly, an observational study was conducted to collect data regarding each player anthropometry, individual experience, training habits and warm-up routines. Secondly, a prospective cohort study including all participating athletes was conducted, to identify and describe all injuries occurring during the competition. A follow-up period until the return to sport from all injured players was conducted.
Results: A total of 87 players from 8 teams competed in the tournament. On average, athlete’s heighted 178.6 cm (± 6.65) and weighted 83.34 kg (± 11.22). Total match exposure was 53.67 player match-hours and the injury incidence rate was 186.2 per 1000 player match-hours (94.7-332.4, CI 95%). Average severity was 26.6 days (± 6.23). Most injuries occurred on the second half (n=6), following contact events with the opponent (n=8). Lower limb (n=6) and joint/ligament (n=7) injuries were the most frequent.
Discussion: The overall injury incidence rate was higher than any previously reported in the literature. Insufficient training and warm-up routines of the injured players strengthens the idea that these are key elements in injury prevention. The small sample limits the results' statistical significance.
Conclusions: Similar but larger studies must be conducted to gain better knowledge of the individual profile of the Portuguese university rugby player and the burden of injuries at this level of competition.