Thursday, September 5, 2019

New Study Compares Indoor and Beach Volleyball Injury Data with Suprising Results

New research out of the University of Southern California provides some insight into injury rates and patterns across collegiate beach and indoor volleyball athletes.  The findings are reported in The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine (here).  Researchers analyzed injury reports for indoor and beach volleyball between 2015 and 2017.  They found 90 indoor volleyball injuries and 49 beach volleyball injuries reported.  Injury rates were standardized for both disciplines by normalizing total injuries by the number of athletes and sets played.  Injury patterns were compared by organizing injuries according to six body regions - back, thorax, abdomen, lower extremity, upper extremity and head.

The results suggest that beach volleyball is a safer sport but its players are more prone to back and abdomen injuries.  Indoor volleyball athletes tended to sustain both more injuries overall and a higher proportion of injuries to the lower extremities.  The researchers did not suggest an explanation for the findings.

Awareness of injury rates and patterns across both sports can be helpful to coaches who manage indoor, beach or cross-over athletes.  The findings can assist strength coaches to design programs customized to the physical demands of the sports they oversee and can better position athletic trainers to implement optimal prehab and recovery protocols.