DOES PLAYER POSITION INFLUENCE THE RISK AND TYPE OF LOWER LIMB INJURY IN SENIOR NETBALL?
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The objective of this study was to address all seven positions in Netball, and assess if they each influence the risk and type of lower limb injuries sustained in senior Netball. This five year retrospective study accessed 61 participants, predominantly from the Cardiff and District Netball League. Questionnaires were distributed asking players about their injury history, including mechanism, rehabilitation and footwear. Criteria was included to ensure only injuries that participants classed as 'serious' were included. Injury definition = an injury deemed serious was one that caused participants to cease playing immediately, and/or miss subsequent training/matches. A total of 140 lower limb injuries were reported for all seven positions. Based on the exclusion criteria this number was reduced to 47 injuries (70% of participants reported an injury). Breaking the lower limbs down to six regions, the ankle was the most frequently injured (64%), with the knee some distance behind in second (15%). The thigh/hamstring was the only area not to report an injury. The Goal Shooter (56%) and Goal Keeper (83%) only reported injuries to the ankle. The Goal Defence and Centre injured the knee and ankle areas only. The Wing Attack and Goal Attack experienced the most varied injuries; both injuring four of the six regions. The Wing Defence also had varied injuries, but was found to be the 'safest' position, with the lowest number of ankle injuries (23%), and the highest number of participants with no injuries (54%). Overall attacking players had more injuries; reinforced by the attacking third having the highest percentage of injuries (47%), compared to the centre and defensive thirds. Consistent with previous research, the knee and ankle were the most commonly injured sites. 40% of injuries were due to a blow/contact; the majority caused by impact on landing. Recommendations for further research could be focusing on the landing forces and assessing how the knee/ankle joints are affected, as well as injury prevention strategies.
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