Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2018) 17, 289 - 297

Research article
Low External Workloads Are Related to Higher Injury Risk in Professional Male Basketball Games
Toni Caparrós1,2, , Martí Casals2, Álvaro Solana, Javier Peña2,3
Author Information
1 Institut Nacional d’Educació Física de Catalunya (INEFC), Barcelona, Spain
2 Sport Performance Analysis Research Group (SPARG), Universitat de Vic, Vic, Spain
3 UVic-UCC Sport and Physical Activity Studies Centre (CEEAF), Universitat de Vic, Vic, Spain

Toni Caparrós
✉ c/Sant Joan Bosco 7-9, 08338, Premià de Dalt, Barcelona, Spain
Publish Date
Received: 03-05-2017
Accepted: 27-09-2017
Published (online): 14-05-2018
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The primary purpose of this study was to identify potential risk factors for sports injuries in professional basketball. An observational retrospective cohort study involving a male professional basketball team, using game tracking data was conducted during three consecutive seasons. Thirty-three professional basketball players took part in this study. A total of 29 time-loss injuries were recorded during regular season games, accounting for 244 total missed games with a mean of 16.26 ± 15.21 per player and season. The tracking data included the following variables: minutes played, physiological load, physiological intensity, mechanical load, mechanical intensity, distance covered, walking maximal speed, maximal speed, sprinting maximal speed, maximal speed, average offensive speed, average defensive speed, level one acceleration, level two acceleration, level three acceleration, level four acceleration, level one deceleration, level two deceleration, level three deceleration, level four deceleration, player efficiency rating and usage percentage. The influence of demographic characteristics, tracking data and performance factors on the risk of injury was investigated using multivariate analysis with their incidence rate ratios (IRRs). Athletes with less or equal than 3 decelerations per game (IRR, 4.36; 95% CI, 1.78-10.6) and those running less or equal than 1.3 miles per game (lower workload) (IRR, 6.42 ; 95% CI, 2.52-16.3) had a higher risk of injury during games (p < 0.01 in both cases). Therefore, unloaded players have a higher risk of injury. Adequate management of training loads might be a relevant factor to reduce the likelihood of injury according to individual profiles.

Key words: Game tracking, multivariate analysis, decelerations, distance, injury prevention

           Key Points
  • The number of decelerations and the total distance can be considered risk factors for injuries in professional basketball players.
  • Unloaded players have greater risk of injury compared to players with higher accumulated external workload.
  • Workload management should be considered a major factor in injury prevention programs.
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