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Mechanisms of injuries in World Cup Snowboard Cross: a systematic video analysis of 19 cases


Background Snowboard cross (SBX) became an official Olympic sport in 2006. This discipline includes manoeuvring several obstacles while competing in heats. It is common for the riders to collide, making this sport both exciting and at risk of injuries. Although a recent study from the 2010 Olympic Games has shown that the injury risk was high, little is known about the injury mechanisms.

Objective To qualitatively describe the injury situation and mechanism of injuries in World Cup Snowboard Cross.

Study design Descriptive video analysis.

Methods Nineteen video recordings of SBX injuries reported through the International Ski Federation Injury Surveillance System for four World Cup seasons (2006 to 2010) were obtained. Five experts in the field of sports medicine, snowboard and biomechanics performed analyses of each case to describe the injury mechanism in detail (riding situation and rider behaviour).

Results Injuries occurred at jumping (n=13), bank turning (n=5) or rollers (n=1). The primary cause of the injuries was a technical error at take-off resulting in a too high jump and subsequent flat-landing. The rider was then unable to recover leading to fall at the time of injury. Injuries at bank turn was characterised by a pattern where the rider in a balanced position lost control due to unintentional contact with another rider.

Conclusion Jumping appeared to be the most challenging obstacle in SBX, where a technical error at take-off was the primary cause of the injuries. The second most common inciting event was unintentional board contact between riders at bank turning.

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