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34 Chronic ankle instability does not affect the balance ability of netball players
  1. AS Attenborough1,
  2. PJ Sinclair1,
  3. RM Smith1,
  4. CE Hiller2
  1. 1Exercise and Sport Science Discipline, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia
  2. 2Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia


Background Ankle sprains account for a large majority of injuries in netball. As a result of the rules of the sport balance is believed to be an essential component game-related athletic performance. Balance allows players in shooting positions to remain stable and aim for goal but also allows all players to obstruct a pass, or shot at goal, by holding a stable defensive position whilst maintaining the ground distance rule.

Objective To determine the effect of a previous ankle sprain on the balance of netball players.

Design Cross-sectional study.

Setting Community spaces.

Participants Ninety-six female netball players. Participants were classified as uninjured, coper or CAI.

Intervention Participants performed the anterior, posterior-lateral and posterior-medial reach directions of the SEBT. Participants also performed single limb eyes-closed stance trials as well as trials of the demi-point balance test.

Main outcome measurements The dependent variables of interest were reach distances in the anterior, posterior-lateral and posterior-medial directions of the SEBT. Additionally the number of foot-lifts during 30 s of eyes-closed single limb stance was also assessed. The demi-pointe balance test was used to determine the ability of participants to stand unilaterally in a plantar flexed position for 5 s.

Results There were no differences in any balance test measures when comparing uninjured, coper and CAI netball players (p ≥ 0.05). Composite SEBT reach distance scores when normalised to leg length were 70.6 ± 6.3, 73.3 ± 7.4 and 70.9 ± 6.9 in the uninjured, coper and CAI groups, respectively. The number of foot-lifts during unilateral stance recorded in the uninjured, coper and CAI groups were 28.0 ± 11.4, 27.0 ± 10.4 and 30.3 ± 12.1, respectively. A failed demi-pointe balance test was reported in 26% of the uninjured group, 35% of the coper group and 33% of the CAI group.

Conclusions A previous ankle sprain had no effect on netball players’ ability to balance, irrespective of the presence of chronic ankle instability.

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