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Archive for June 5, 2007

June 5, 2007 — Inside the Journal of Athletic Training, part 2: Men’s basketball

Second of 14 parts.

Today, we’ll take a look at a sport which has gotten a lot of play in the news recently:

Men’s basketball

Main findings: An overall rate of injury of less than 1 in every 100 games and less than half of that for practices makes basketball a relatively safe sport. Three out of five injuries were to the lower half of the body, with head injuries making up a greater percentage of injuries over time.

Recommendations: More care and training in taping and training ankle ligaments, with the caveat that “randomized controlled trials assessing the efficacy of such preventative measures amongst … players is clearly lacking.” It is a caveat which was completely absent in the discussion of field hockey helmets. In addition, the study noted that officials need to crack down on physical play to reduce head injuries. This recommendation is also absent from the main recommendations of the field hockey section of the JAT study.

What the study authors missed: The study completely missed out the effects of the lack of physical maturity of some players entering college, since the best high-school players have been skimmed off the top by the NBA during the study period.

What the study authors underreported: Fights and physical confrontations amongst players, particularly in the 1980s. Today’s officiating is much tighter in the college game, and ejections are much more common, even without a single punch being thrown.

Equipment recommendations made: The bracing and taping of ankles.

Equipment recommendations not made: Eyewear and facemasks worn by players such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Richard Hamilton. The study points out that there was an alarming 65 percent increase in head injuries during the final three academic years of data collection (2000-2003). Yet, all the study authors talk about is the lack of effectiveness of mouthguards in the protection of concussions (despite plenty of claims and evidence to the contrary).