Injuries in intercollegiate rodeo athletes Academic Article uri icon


  • Collegiate rodeo athletes (N = 156) in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Southern Region, were examined for injuries during a 7 month (10 rodeo) season from 1987 to 1988. Sixty-two athletes sustained a total of 138 acute injuries resulting from 3292 exposures. One hundred twenty-seven injuries (92% of total injuries) occurred in the roughstock and steer wrestling events, and 11 injuries (8%) occurred in the roping and female events. When calculating opportunity for injury, rodeo athletes face an 89% potential for injury per season. Ninety-one of the injuries incurred were upper body injuries; 47 were lower body injuries. A 6:1 exposure to injury ratio among roughstock events exemplifies the magnitude of injury potential in this sport, affecting 25% of roughstock competitors. Contusions, strains, and concussions comprised 42%, 16%, and 11% of the total injuries, respectively, whereas fractures and dislocations comprised only 5% of the total. Twenty-three percent of the injuries occurred during the completion of an athlete's ride, with 21% of injuries attributed to equipment mishaps. Frequency of injury by performance, relation of seasonal participation and exposure to injury, orthotic care, use of conditioning programs, medication history, and need for enhanced sports medicine education in this sport are discussed.

author list (cited authors)

  • Meyers, M. C., Elledge, J. R., Sterling, J. C., & Tolson, H.

citation count

  • 31

publication date

  • January 1990