A national survey of clubs medical provision and facilities in BUCS American Football 2019- 2020

Eleanor Louise Travis*, Andrea Scott-Bell, Claire Thornton

*Corresponding author for this work

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British American Football (BAF) is a developing sport in the UK, with keen growth in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) league. Participation in BAF carries risks and so to facilitate safe participation medical care services must be evaluated.

To evaluate medical provision in BUCS American Football in the 2019–2020 season.

An online survey tool was used to collect data from BUCS BAF teams in the 2019–2020 season. Thirty-one teams (from across England, Wales and Scotland) responded to questions on facilities, provision and procedures.

Almost 42% of teams had a regular team first aider who attended home games each week. Only 61.5% attended away games and 7.7% attended team training. Access to a first aider was not dependent upon division. Home games were more likely to be risk assessed and have an emergency action plan compared to away games. The majority of teams had access to automated external defibrillator (AED) within 100 m of the pitch, yet only 29% of staff were trained to use them. Almost 84% of teams reported carrying a designated fully charged phone (with signal). Prominent qualitative themes indicated were cost/funding as barriers to hiring qualified medical staff, lack of institutional support, unreliability of medical provision and inadequate facilities/preparation for games.

These findings provide key information on the status of medical provision, facilities and protocols in BUCS BAF. Data reveals a lack of consistent medical personnel, particularly at training and away games, and training in emergency care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2447-2455
Number of pages9
JournalIrish Journal of Medical Science
Issue number5
Early online date21 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


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