Background Male sex, total training volume (number of hours per week) and match exposure (number of sets played per week) are risk factors for jumper's knee among young elite volleyball players. However, it is not known whether jump frequency differs among players on the same squad.
Objective To examine interindividual and sex differences in jump frequency during training and matches in young elite volleyball players.
Design Observational study.
Setting Norwegian elite volleyball boarding school training programme.
Participants Student-athletes (26 boys and 18 girls, 16–18 years).
Methods Individual jump counts were recorded based on visual analysis of video recordings obtained from 1 week of volleyball training (9 training sessions for boys and 10 for girls, 14.1 h and 17.8 h of training, respectively) and 10 matches (5.9 h for boys (16 sets) and 7.7 h for girls (21 sets).
Results A total of 11 943 jumps were recorded, 4138 during matches and 7805 during training. As training attendance and jump frequency varied substantially between players, the total exposure in training ranged from 50 to 666 jumps/week among boys and from 11 to 251 jumps/week among girls. On average, this corresponded to 35.7 jumps/h for boys and 13.7 jumps/h for girls (Student t test, p=0.002). Total jump exposure during matches ranged between 1 and 339 jumps among boys and between 0 and 379 jumps among girls, corresponding to an average jump frequency of 62.2 jumps/h for boys and 41.9 jumps/h for girls (Student t test, p<0.039). The interindividual differences in jump frequency were substantially greater than any differences observed among player functions.
Conclusions Jump frequency has substantial interindividual and sex differences during training and matches in young elite volleyball players. Total jump volume may represent a more important risk factor for jumper's knee than total training volume, warranting further research attention.
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