Noncontact knee injuries are common in netball and can result in major disability and socioeconomic burden. Different types of single-leg balance (SLB) and single-leg hop (SLH) test have been widely used in a variety of knee sports medicine contexts. Knowledge of SLB and SLH test performance can help inform the clinician regarding an athlete's risk of knee injury. There is, however, a gap in the scientific literature regarding SLB and SLH test performance in adult netball players. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe pre-season performance of a battery of SLB and SLH tests considered clinically important in knee injury control in an English adult netball club. The Illinois Agility Test (IAT) was also performed to represent netball-related agility. After university ethics approval was obtained and informed consent completed, 23 female netball players participated (mean±standard deviation (SD): age 29±6 y; height 171.6±7.0 cm; mass 68.2±9.8 kg; defence n=10; centre n=2; attack n=11). All reported being uninjured, available for selection and registered for pre-season training. Test order was: barefoot eyes closed balance (ECB; sec), shod triple hop for distance (THD; cm), single hop for distance (SHD; cm) and vertical hop (VH; cm). Leg order was right (R), left (L). The IAT was conducted last. Practice trials and then three measured trials were performed. Appropriate between-trial rest periods were ensured. All tests have previously reported reliability. The mean of measured trials was used for descriptive statistics. All players successfully completed all tests. Mean±SD values were: ECB, R 22.5±15.8 s, L 29.6±15.5 s; THD, R 463.1±53.2 cm, L 464.6±38.7 cm; SHD, R 167.0±18.0 cm, L 166.4±15.7 cm; VH, R 20.0±3.7 cm, L 19.5±3.1 cm; IAT, 19.5±1.3 sec. Across all tests, mean data were comparable to mean data published by other research groups for females of similar age playing in other agility-focused team sports at similar levels of competition. Because the present data were comparable to data from other research groups, the present data were accepted and corroborated as a representation of the motor performances contained within each of the tests. The present and new data can, therefore, be used at several points during the knee injury control decision-making process for adult female netball players.
- Sports medicine