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Medicina dello Sport 2011 June;64(2):173-84


language: English, Italian

Type and incidence of injuries to athletes in the Italian national team competing in the Snowboard World Cup (Report by the Medical commission, Italian Winter Sport Federation)

Tavana R. 1, 2, De Girolamo L. 1, Panzeri A. 1, 2, Banfi G. 1, Thiebat G. 1, 2, Facchini F. 1, Pisoni C. 3, Pozzoni R. 1, Schoenhuber H. 1, 2

1 IRCCS Galeazzi Orthopedic Institute, Milan, Italy 2 FISI (Medical commission, Italian Winter Sport Federation), Rome, Italy 3 Race Manager, National Snowboard Teams, FISI (Italian Winter Sport Federation), Rome, Italy


Aim. This study analyses the injuries suffered in four consecutive years by the members of the Italian national snowboard team, competing in the three separate disciplines valid for the Olympic Winter Games.
Methods. The Italian national snowboard team is made up of 30 athletes (21 men, 9 women). Thirteen of them compete in alpine slalom (7 men, 6 women), 13 in snowboard cross (10 men, 3 women) and 4 in freestyle snowboard (all men). The study examines the data from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2010, for injuries that entailed an absence of more than 10 days from training activities.
Results. Fifty injuries were reported in 25 athletes; 40% of these injuries regarded athletes competing in snowboard cross (N.=20), 40% in slalom (N.=20) and 20% in freestyle (N.=10). The overall annual mean injury rate is 0.41 injuries/year per athlete. Injuries caused a mean loss of 48 days in snowboard cross and 141 in slalom; in freestyle the mean number of lost training days was 219, which was significantly higher than the rate for cross (P<0.001). On average, snowboarders suffered the highest number of injuries during a race; a relatively high number of injuries, approximately 40%, required surgery. In all three snowboard disciplines, the period when the highest number of injuries was recorded was the competitive season (December to April). Snowboarding practised at a high level presents a high injury rate. In particular, our data reveal a net prevalence of injuries among freestyle snowboarders compared to the other two disciplines.
Conclusion. Understanding the epidemiology and incidence of snowboard injuries can be a useful assessment tool for the trainers and medical commission managing a team’s competitive season.

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