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Concussion incidence and mechanism among youth volleyball players
  1. Derek W Meeuwisse1,
  2. Kerry MacDonald1,
  3. Willem H Meeuwisse1,
  4. Kathryn Schneider1,2
  1. 1Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Canada
  2. 2Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Canada


Objective To assess the incidence of concussions among adolescent volleyball players in Canada.

Design Cross sectional survey.

Setting Online survey.

Participants In total, 663 registered Volleyball Canada members completed a national survey, with a response rate of 13.0%; web-based survey response rates rarely exceed 5%. The 452 (68.2%) female and 211 (31.8%) male responders had a mean age of 16.2 (95% CI: 16.1to 16.4) years with a range from 14 to 19 years.

Assessment of risk factors The type of environment: controlled non-competitive environment (practice or warm-up) versus competitive game play environment.

Outcome measures Whether the athletes sustained a concussion as defined by the 2012 Zurich Consensus.

Main results A total of 86 concussions were reported, of which 52 were in the previous 12 months, yielding a one-year cumulative incidence per 100 athletes of 7.1 (95% CI: 4.3 to 11.4) and 7.5 (95% CI: 5.4 to 10.3) for males and females, respectively. In total, 57.1% (95% CI: 46.2 to 67.5) of all concussions involved ball-to-head contact. Player-to-player contact and head-to-floor contact were less prevalent at 20.2% (95% CI: 12.8 to 30.4) and 15.5% (95% CI: 9.1 to 25.1) respectively. Practice environment accounted for 46.5% of all concussions while 38.4% occurred in game play. The remaining 15.1% occurred in warm-up. In total, 61.6% (95% CI: 50.2 to 71.7) of concussions occurred outside of free-flow competitive game play, in a more structured environment.

Conclusions There is a significant margin for injury prevention as a substantial proportion (61.6%) of concussions happening in a noncompetitive, controlled environment that may be amenable to change that would reduce the potential for such injury.

Competing interests The authors have no competing interest to state.

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