About Health and Safety

Part of the NCAA’s core mission is to provide student-athletes with a competitive environment that is safe and ensures fair play. While each school is responsible for the welfare of its student-athletes, the NCAA provides leadership by establishing safety guidelines, playing rules, equipment standards, drug testing procedures and research into the cause of injuries to assist decision making.

The Committee on Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports serves to provide expertise and leadership to the NCAA in order to provide a healthy and safe environment for student-athletes through research, education, collaboration and policy development. The committee is made up of 20 members who serve four-year terms, each of which comes from medical, administrative, legal, coaching or student-athlete backgrounds. View the current roster here.

Sports Injuries

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the NCAA track sports injuries?

Because while injuries are an inherent risk in any sport, understanding the cause of the injuries can help minimize those risks.

How does it help prevent sports injuries?

Once we know how they occur we can take the necessary steps to reduce student-athletes’ exposure to situations that cause injuries. For instance, we can make adjustments to rules – such as eliminating tackling techniques in football or high-sticking in ice hockey – to reduce situations that expose student-athletes to high risks of injury. Or we can adjust equipment requirements and standards to increase safety.

The benefits of exercise play an important role in promoting daily well-being and the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hypertension.  So college athletes are often seen as some of the healthiest members of society. Yet participation in competitive sports brings with it unavoidable risks of injury. The NCAA takes appropriate steps to modify safety guidelines, playing rules and standards to minimize those risks and provide student athletes with the best opportunity to enjoy a healthy career. The injury surveillance program collects, analyzes, interprets and disseminates data on injuries in each sport, providing a wealth of information through which we can provide athletes with a safe competitive environment.


Women's Volleyball Injuries

Women's Soccer Injuries

Men's Soccer Injuries

Football Injuries

Field Hockey Injuries

2012-13 Sports Medicine Handbook

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Last Updated: Aug 27, 2012