Netball Court Specialists and ACL Injury Prevention

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Netball Court Specialists

The demand for Netball Court Specialists is high due to the agility and pinpoint direction changes required by these players. These demands place a significant strain on the knees and hips. This is exacerbated by the fact that netball requires a great deal of running.

Our study sought to investigate the differences in movement intensity between coach-prescribed on court training activities, and competition match-play in sub-elite netball athletes. On-court coach-prescribed training was categorized into a combination of skills drills, Specialist activities (position-specific technical skill development) and game-based activity categories. The Specialist activities were further divided into specialized skill sessions, where the specific technical skill was focused on and other environmental aspects of a game, such as teammates, were removed to enable unencumbered execution of the skill, and ‘match-like’ training session categories, where game-based activities are executed with varying degrees of emphasis on specific skills.

Creating a Championship-Worthy Netball Court

In contrast, the Competition match-play category was based on league-sanctioned, regulated and officiated match-play occurring during a season. This included both full pre-season and season games, as well as practice matches. In order to maintain the anonymity of the participants, match data was not classified based on the final result of a game.

The research suggests that a range of evidence-informed screening procedures could be used to support ACL injury prevention in community netball. These include a single-leg squat and leap landing test, the ACL-protective quadriceps strength test and the tuck jump assessment. The results suggest that the inclusion of these tests in a standardized ACL injury screening protocol could improve clinical decision-making for sports physical therapists working in the netball context.

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