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Artificial playing surface increases the injury risk in pivoting indoor sports: a prospective one-season follow-up study in Finnish female floorball


Objectives: To compare the injury risk in pivoting indoor sports between two different surfaces: artificial floors and wooden floors.

Methods: Female players (n = 331) from 26 top-level Finnish floorball teams were followed for one competitive season (6 months). All traumatic game related time-loss injuries were recorded. Injury incidences were calculated as the number of injuries per 1000 game hours for both surfaces. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were obtained from Poisson regression models.

Results: Over the competitive season, 62 traumatic injuries occurred during the games. The injury incidence per 1000 playing hours was 59.9 (95% CI 43.2 to 83.0) on artificial floors and 26.8 (95% CI 18.2 to 39.3) on wooden floors, the adjusted IRR being twofold higher (IRR = 2.1; 95% CI 1.2 to 3.5, p = 0.005) on artificial floors than wooden floors. The risk for non-contact injuries (adjusted IRR = 12.5; 95% CI 2.9 to 54.9, p = 0.001) and severe injuries (adjusted IRR = 3.3; 95% CI 0.9 to 10.9, p = 0.052) was especially high when playing on artificial floors.

Conclusions: The study attested that the risk of traumatic injury in pivoting indoor sports is higher when playing on artificial floors than wooden floors. The higher shoe–surface friction on the former surface is likely to explain the higher injury risk.

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