Introduction: Certain ground conditions, including hardness, have been associated with an increased injury risk. Many sporting grounds have been deemed unplayable based on hardness measures and subsequently closed. However, most research linking injury to ground conditions has been based on subjective observations or focussed at high performance venues. The aim of this study was to identify the relationship between ground hardness and injury incidence in community level Australian football. Methodology: Measurements of ground hardness, using the Clegg hammer, were recorded on eight community level football grounds between 4 and 8 times during the 2007 season. Injury data was collected by trained data collectors over the season. The 1st Clegg hammer drop was used as the hardness measure, and injuries were ranked as ‘likely’, ‘possibly’, and ‘unlikely’ to be related to grounds by three independent assessors. Results: 130 injuries were recorded at the grounds tested. The Clegg hammer measures ranged from 55 to 134 gravities (g), with four injuries sustained at readings over 120 × g. Of the 130 injuries, 12 were classified as ‘likely’ to be related to ground conditions, 29 ‘possibly’ related, 75 ‘unlikely’ and 14 unknown due to incomplete details. None of the ‘likely’ injuries were sustained on readings over 120 × g. No significant relationships were found between ground hardness and any injury profiles (0.02 < r < 0.14, p < 0.01). Conclusions: Presently, sporting grounds are being closed with hardness readings exceeding 120 × g. The results of this study provide some evidence to challenge this, however, due to low injury rates further research with a larger cohort is necessary.
Introduction: In Australia, the National League competition (Commonwealth BankTrophy (CBT)) provided an opportunity to gain an understanding of injuries sustained at the elite level. The purpose of this review therefore is to examine the injury incidence in the CBT competition (2003–2005) and considerations for future injury prevention strategies. Methods: All players in the CBT competition are included in the injury data surveillance scheme. Each team physiotherapist is responsible for assessing, treating and recording injuries within the team. An injury is defined as any netball related physical damage that caused the athlete to miss or modify one or more training sessions, matches or both, and/or required a consultation with a health professional. Results and discussion: The exposure to risk has been estimated from the data supplied for CBT games only to be 71.4, 61.8 and 66.7 injuries per 1000 participations for 2003–2005 respectively. Game injuries account for the majority of injuries with the ankle remaining the most common site of injury across the 3-year period, despite the fact that the majority of players wear ankle tape. The knee was the second highest recorded site of injury for 2004 (14.9%) and 2005 (14%). The majority of injuries are new injuries with three most common mechanisms of injury being collision with a player, landing and overuse injury. Ongoing injury prevention strategies are warranted to reduce injuries resulting from a non-contact mechanism. In addition, training exposure is required to accurately assess the overall risk of injury in netball.