The Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention recognizes that athletic trainers are the key component of the center’s ongoing injury surveillance programs. Just as injury prevention is one of the critical roles for athletic trainers, ongoing and consistent injury surveillance is one of the critical pieces of injury prevention. Without athletic trainers, modern injury surveillance would not be possible, and without injury surveillance, athletic trainers would not have a clear understanding of where to focus injury prevention efforts. All Datalys Center faculty and staff are either certified athletic trainers or former collegiate student-athletes who have dedicated most of their professional careers to sports injury prevention. On behalf of the Datalys Center, the Sport Science Institute thanks athletic trainers who participate in injury surveillance programs.
Athletic trainers have been the backbone of injury surveillance efforts conducted since the 1970’s when the National Athletic Injury Reporting System (NAIRS) program first relied upon the profession to provide quality injury data in the collegiate and high school settings 1. The importance of athletic trainers in this effort was highlighted in Dr. Kenneth Clarke’s presentation on the Premises and Pitfalls of Athletic Injury Surveillance at the annual meeting of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), subsequently published in the Journal of Sports Medicine (1976) 1. Dr. Clarke indicated that athletic trainers were an integral part of the development and execution of the NAIRS project. In a more recent study conducted by Yard et al, injury and exposure data reported by coaches and athletic trainers were compared 2. The study concluded that athletic trainers provided the most reliable and valid injury and exposure information.
The NCAA Injury Surveillance System (1986-2009) and current NCAA Injury Surveillance Program [ISP] (2009-present) managed by the Datalys Center, have always relied on athletic trainers to provide data in the collegiate setting. In addition, the Datalys Center’s high school (NATA NATION) and youth (Youth Football Safety Study ) programs also rely on the selfless, professional efforts of athletic trainers in the collection of injury data.
To recognize that the success of injury surveillance programs would not be possible without athletic trainers, the Datalys Center has initiated several programs to thank athletic trainers for their decades of support (see Table 1). The Datalys Center will continue to find new ways to reciprocate the fundamental support provided by athletic trainers in the effort to prevent injuries.
This article was written for the Sport Science Institute by Thomas P. Dompier, PhD, ATC, President Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention, Inc. For more information about the Datalys Center, go to www.datalyscenter.org
To collect and translate — often in collaboration with others — sports participation, injury and treatment data into more effective programs, policies, rules and education aimed at preventing, mitigating and treating sports injuries more effectively.
The Datalys Center team includes experts and scientists whose careers have focused on making sports safer through the prevention of injuries. The prevention of injuries begins with understanding the problem through ongoing and consistent injury documentation. The Datalys Center is committed to providing organizations and policy makers with unbiased data and interpretation that can be used to make data driven policy decisions.