Non-Time-Loss and Time-Loss Injuries in Secondary School Girls’ Volleyball Athletes: A Report From the National Athletic Treatment, Injury, and Outcomes Network Surveillance Program

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Journal of Sport Rehabilitation


Context: Volleyball is a popular sport with a risk of injury to the entire body. Insight into non-time-loss (NTL) and time-loss (TL) injuries is needed to inform seasonal injury trends that may lead to appropriate prevention and management strategies. This study provides a descriptive analysis of volleyball injuries among secondary school athletes. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Methods: Data were collected from 72 secondary schools, representing 135 team seasons of data from the National Athletic Treatment, Injury, and Outcomes Network Surveillance Program (2014–2015 to 2018–2019 academic years). Injury counts, injury rates (IR) per 1000 athlete exposures (AEs), and incidence rate ratios (IRR) were reported with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: In total, 529 injuries over 193,858 AEs for girls’ volleyball were captured, producing an IR of 2.73/1000AEs (95% CI = 2.50–2.96). The overall IR was highest during the preseason compared with regular season (IRR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.09–1.59). Overall IRs were higher in competition (IR: 3.56, 95% CI = 3.07–4.05) compared with practice (IR: 2.38, 95% CI = 2.12–2.64; IRR = 1.49, 95% CI = 1.25–1.79). Common body locations injured were ankle (n = 141, 26.7%; NTL: n = 56, 21.7%; TL: n = 85, 31.7%), knee (n = 61, 11.5%; NTL: n = 33, 12.8%, TL: n = 28, 10.5%), hand/wrist (n = 59, 11.2%; NTL: n = 32, 12.4%, TL: n = 27, 10.1%), and head/face (n = 62, 11.7%; NTL: n = 14, 5.4%; TL: n = 47, 17.5%). Conclusions: Volleyball IRs were highest in preseason and during competition. Most injuries affected the lower-extremity which is notable considering the high upper-extremity load in volleyball. Consideration of strategies to reduce injuries prior to the start of the formal sports season may be needed to help reduce the incidence of preseason injuries.

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