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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Oct 19

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12998-6


language: English

Injury pattern based on player positions in Japanese university handball: a cross-sectional study of 2056 players

Sonoko MASHIMO 1 , Naruto YOSHIDA 2, Ayaka TAKEGAMI 3, Keita SUZUKI 4, Shinzo ONISHI 5

1 Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences, Osaka Electro-Communication University, Neyagawa, Japan; 2 Faculty of Health Care, Teikyo Heisei University, Toshima, Japan; 3 Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan; 4 Sports Research and Development Core, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan; 5 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan


BACKGROUND: Although it is evident that the risk of injury in handball varies according to player position, it is unclear whether the characteristics of these injuries also differ. The aim of this study was to characterise and compare the position-associated injury profiles of university handball players in Japan.
METHODS: A total of 2056 participants who played in the 2018 and 2019 Japanese National University Handball Championships were included in this cross-sectional study. A self-reported injury questionnaire regarding demographic and injury-related information was administered.
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of injury during the one-year period preceding the questionnaire was 44.1%, and back (47.9%) and line (49.2%) players exhibited a higher proportion of injuries than players in other positions (p < 0.001). The ankle, knee, and shoulder/clavicle were the most common body regions affected by traumatic injuries, and knee and shoulder/clavicle injuries differed based on player positions (p = 0.033). Conversely, overuse injuries predominantly affected the lumber spine/lower back, knee, and foot/toe, although there were no significant differences between player positions (p = 0.188). In terms of the injury mechanism, line players exhibited a higher proportion of contact injuries and goalkeepers had a higher proportion of non-contact injuries than that of other positions (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Back and line players experienced more injuries than players in other positions. Depending on the player position, there were significant differences in the prevalence and patterns of injury. Therefore, injury prevention measures need to consider the characteristics of injuries based on player positions.

KEY WORDS: Handball; Injury; University; Player position; Epidemiology

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