Because the risk of injury in many sports is high, governing bodies and individuals involved with these sports have a responsibility to manage the risks at acceptable levels. Risk management provides a structured framework within which risks can be identified, evaluated, assessed, and controlled through appropriate mitigation strategies. Exploring inferences obtained from the relationship between risk and the incidence and severity of injury contributes to the understanding and control of risks in sport. Studies related to intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors should be focused on determining which factors cause an athlete's risk level to fall within the high-risk or low-risk regions of the population's risk distribution. Risk values can be used to derive risk contours, which illustrate the interdependence of incidence and severity on the development of effective risk mitigation strategies. The wide variation in the levels of risk across different sports is used to demonstrate the impact that athletes' perception and acceptance of risk have on their choice of sport. Finally, the use of incidence and severity data for predicting the prevalence of injury in a team and for the economic evaluation of intervention programmes is discussed.
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Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine
© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.