FAQ

What is a catastrophic injury?

Please see the Definitions tab.

 

What is the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research (NCCSIR)?

The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research (NCCSIR) is a research center that tracks severe sports injuries and illnesses in the United States. The Center is directed by Dr. Kristen Kucera at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The NCCSIR has tracked fatalities and catastrophic injuries in all sports in U.S high schools and colleges since 1982 and for professional sports/football since 1965.

 

What is the mission of the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research (NCCSIR)?

The mission of the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research (NCCSIR) is to conduct surveillance of catastrophic injuries and illnesses related to participation in organized sports in the United States at the youth, high school, and collegiate levels of play.  In working with a Consortium for Catastrophic Injury Monitoring, the NCCSIR aims to track cases through a systematic data reporting system that allows for longitudinal investigation of athletes suffering from catastrophic injuries and illnesses.  The goal of the Center is to improve the prevention, evaluation, management, and rehabilitation of catastrophic sports-related injuries.

 

How does the NCCSIR utilize its research?

The information collected through research is published in annual reports. These reports are distributed to sports governing bodies and organizations like the National Collegiate Athletic Associate (NCAA), the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). The goals of these reports are to help these organizations evaluate and develop health and safety policies. For a list of previous reports, please see Reports tab.

 

Why research catastrophic sport injuries?

Research provides the sports medicine community and the public with information about the circumstances surrounding catastrophic sports injuries and public health burden across all playing levels (middle school, high school, college, and professional).   In the past, decisions about rule changes and equipment changes have been informed by this data.  These decisions help to ensure the safety of all involved and decrease the future risk of injury.  Rule changes have been implemented in football, swimming and diving, and pole vaulting as a direct result of data collected through the NCCSIR.

 

Why use an online system to report catastrophic sport injuries?

We monitor news and media reports of catastrophic events, but this can only capture events that make it into the news media.  We also make use of reports from the general public.  A national active surveillance program where anyone can report a catastrophic injury or illness creates a more accurate and efficient sport catastrophic injury monitoring.

 

Where can I report a catastrophic sport injury?

Anyone can report a catastrophic sport injury event here.  You can also report a catastrophic sport injury by contacting the NCCSIR directly here.

 

What is the Consortium for Catastrophic Injury Monitoring in Sport?

The Consortium for Catastrophic Injury Monitoring in Sport (Consortium) was created to develop a stronger national active surveillance program to improve reporting and monitoring of these catastrophic sports injuries.  The Consortium was created by partnerships between NCCSIR and several different intuitions and programs. It is divided into three research divisions – Division on Traumatic Injury at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Division on Exertional Injury at The University of Connecticut, and the Division on Cardiac Injury in Sport at The University of Washington. There are five Consortium research partners—Boston UniversityDatalys Center, the High School RIO:Reporting Information Online at The University of Colorado, the Injury Prevention Research Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the University of Maryland. The activities of NCCSIR and the Consortium is funded by five national organizations — including the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM).

 

Who funds the NCCSIR and the Consortium?

The NCCSIR and the Consortium is funded by five national organizations—the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), and the the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM).

 

Who started the NCCSIR?

NCCSIR’s long history dates back to 1965 when Dr. Carl Blyth at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted research on football-related fatalities.  The NCCSIR was created in 1982 to expand data collection to all sports under the direction of Frederick O. Mueller, PhD.  Dr. Mueller and Dr. Robert Cantu (Medical Director) have led the Center for the past 30 years and have published an Annual Report every year since 1981.  Dr. Mueller tracked injuries through newspaper clipping services and internet based search engines, as well as obtaining information from organizations and colleagues.  Dr. Mueller retired in 2013.