Studies Published Addressing Boxing Injury Rates and Headgear Effectiveness

Adding to this site’s archives canvassing safety studies in combat sports, two studies were published this month in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.  The first addressed injury rates in elite level amateur boxing.  The second addressed the impact performance of various headgear.

The first study titled “Boxing Injury Epidemiology in the Great Britain Team” reviewed injuries in training and competition in the Great Britain (GB) amateur boxing squad between 2005 and 2009.  The studies highlights were as follows –

  • Total injury rate during competition was 828 injuries per one thousand hours of competition
  • More injuries occurred during training than during competition
  • More injuries affected the hand than any other body location
  • Hand injury rate in competition was 302 injuries per 1000 hours
  • The incidence of recorded concussions was “comparatively low

An abstract of the article can be found here.

The second study, titled “The Impact Performance of Headguards for Combat Sports” aimed to assess the impact energy attenuation performance of a range of headguards for combat sports.

Seven different headguards of varying thickness were  put through a drop test with a 5.6 kg drop assembly mass. Tests were conducted against a “flat rigid anvil” both with and without a boxing glove section.

The results of the study were as follows –

Headguard performance varied by test condition. For the 0.4 m rigid anvil tests, the best model headguard was the thickest producing an average peak headform acceleration over 5 tests of 48 g compared with 456 g for the worst model. The mean peak acceleration for the 0.4, 0.5 and 0.6 frontal and lateral rigid anvil impact tests was between 32% and 40% lower for the Top Ten boxing model compared with the Adidas boxing model. The headguard performance deterioration observed with repeat impact against the flat anvil was reduced for impacts against the glove section. The overall reduction in acceleration for the combination of glove and headguard in comparison to the headguard condition was in the range of 72–93% for 0.6 and 0.8 m drop tests.

An abstract of the study can be found here.

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