Background Roller sports (RS) have continuous spreading, not only a recreational activity. There are different sports modalities, ruled by national/international organizations. We investigated at the FIHP, being the world leader for RS, about the circumstance of accidents.
Object To investigate if RS must be considered at risk for accidents or not.
Design Retrospective study through observations of accidents occurred in Italian FIHP during the 2009–2012 Olympic term.
Setting Collecting data, statistical analysis of accidents. Analysis-goal and technical-scientific anamnesis to detect risk factors.
Participants 97 085 Italian skaters in 4 years, subdivided into modality, sex, time, affected part of body.
Risk factor assessment Data comparison underlines high number of accidents when athlete is physically stressed. These seem to be connected with 1) effect of skate vibrations on Hoffmann reflex; 2) effect of eccentric contractions; 3) functional overload on lumbar muscles; 4) age, sex, modality, time.
Main outcome measurements We suggest to increase: 1) recovering periods during in-skate and off-skate; 2) more specific physical training with special attention to core stability and proprioception; 3) better control of upper part of body.
Results Accidents were overall 502, equaling to 0.52% of all analyzed member athletes. Accidents involved 305 women and 197 men. 75.3% of accidents happened in training and 24.7% in competition. Subdivided into modality, (number of accidents compared to the total number of members athletes FIHP) the accidental risk was 0.24 % for artistic athletes, 0.18 % for inline speed athletes, 0.04% for rink-hockey athletes, 0.05% for inline hockey athletes, 0.01% for freestyle athletes, and 0.001% for ski roll athletes. The proportion of involved body parts for accidents during training were: upper limbs 57.4%, lower limbs 22.5%, head 13.2%, shoulder 4.0%, other 2.4; during competition: upper limbs 44.3%, lower limbs 20.9%, head 20.1%, shoulder 13.7% other 1.0%.
Conclusions RS, if practiced in sports clubs, presented few accidents. The knowledge of the risk factors should allow us to optimize training strategies by preventing further risks. Other risk factors were detected, independent of speed, obstacles, hard surfaces, and behavior. We confirm that the use of protections is useful, especially for the beginners.
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