The dominant socio‐ecological framework (SEF) is informed by Bronfenbrenner’s first‐generation SEF and ignoring the more nuanced later versions that highlight the interconnections and temporal realities of sport and physical activity interventions in the real‐world. To explore how SEFs have been used in sport medicine, injury prevention and sport participation, this article uses a narrative review to investigate applications of SEFs to inform the development of a new framework that can be applied in future research and practice. A systematic review of the Web of Science database for the 5‐year period to December 2018 was conducted using keywords related to sport, participation and injury prevention: “socio‐ecological” AND ((sport* AND injury) OR (sport* AND medicine) OR (sport* AND participation)). Articles were analysed to explore: country‐of‐origin, research themes; sample; methods, the “generation” of the SEF used, and key theorists. Of the 10 articles retained, most were on sport and/or physical activity participation (77%), typically from Belgium (40%) and Australia (30%). All drew upon Bronfenbrenner’s first‐generation SEF. These results informed the development of a new and novel temporal extension of the SEF (TESEF) reflecting Bronfenbrenner’s third‐generation, i.e. Process‐Person‐Context‐Time model that is more relevant to a pragmatic, real‐world, research approach going forward.