Big drops in the number of claims for Christchurch rugby, soccer and netball injuries are conspicuous in the latest ACC statistics for sport-related injuries.
Rugby league had a small rise in the number of claims compared with 12 months earlier, but has seen a big drop in the cost of claims over three years.
In contrast, the cost of rugby injuries in Christchurch has risen slightly, even though the number of injuries has been declining.
League ACC claims for Christchurch city totalled 140 (costing $1,218,187) in 2009-10 and dropped to 112 ($911,576) in 2010-11. For 2011-12 they were 120 ($769,236).
Rugby had 541 claims in 2009-10 but this dropped to 433 for 2011-12. However, while the 2009-10 claims cost $3,749,748, the 2011-12 claims cost a fraction more at $3,753,588.
ACC stats are issued for the year financial year to June 30, so they span two seasons for winter codes. Netball and soccer, the other sports for which figures have been released, have also had drops in both the cost and the number of claims in Christchurch.
The Canterbury Rugby Union's amateur rugby manager Tim Gilkison said he hoped the effort the sport had put into education had contributed to the improvement in Christchurch rugby claims.
Before every season, there was a compulsory Rugby Smart course for all coaches, from seniors down to under-14s, and for all referees, he said.
The content was devised by the New Zealand union and fine-tuned each year based on trends in serious injury reports.
While years ago, scrums were the concern, now there was a lot of training around the contact situation and things like concussion management.
The figures also varied from season to season, said Gilkison. Sometimes particularly hard fields at the beginning of the season could produce a spike, and there was a generally higher number of injuries at the beginning of the season on hard grounds when players were not as fit.
So there were a lot of different factors, but the union hoped education was contributing to the improved figures, he said.
"Correct technique is so crucial across scrummaging, maul and ruck, and tackle, and they are all things we can educate on," he said.
Canterbury Rugby League manager Craig Kerr is slightly bemused by the big decline over three years in both the number and cost of claims for his sport in Christchurch.
It might partially reflect a decrease in playing numbers, although that was only about four per cent across the board in the past two years, he said.
"It is possibly due to the greater knowledge of coaching and training staff in having players fitter and stronger and ready to play," he said.
The sport wanted to make sure everyone was aware of their responsibilities, whether they were managers, coaches, or trainers, he said.
Netball had 180 claims in Christchurch costing $1.028 million in 2011-12 and soccer had 236 costing $1.473 million - both down on the previous 12 months.