Background It is crucial to balance load and recovery during short-term match congestion in basketball. Currently, it is unknown if higher total load during short-term match congestion lead to higher injury and illness rates.
Objective Aim of this study was to compare injuries and illnesses and total weekly load during 1-match weeks compared to ≥2-match weeks in basketball.
Design During this prospective observational study, players were monitored during a full season.
Setting Two basketball teams participating in the domestic-league championship, CUP matches and Euro league were followed.
Patients (or Participants) Sixteen elite male professional basketball players participated in this study. Characteristics of the players were (mean±SD): age 24.8±2.0 years, height 195.8±7.5 cm, weight 94.8±14.0 kg, body fat 11.9±5.0% and VO2max 51.9±5.3 mL·kg−1·min−1.
Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) In total 47 matches by basketball team A (9 players) and 41 matches by team B (7 players) were performed throughout the season. All training sessions and matches were executed as prescribed by the training and coaching staff without interference or manipulation.
Main Outcome Measurements The Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center (OSTRC) Questionnaire on Health Problems was used to collect data on injuries and illnesses on a weekly base. Furthermore, players filled in s-RPE and duration for each training and match. Prevalence’s, severity scores, time-loss and total weekly load were compared for 1-match weeks and ≥2-match weeks. The data were analyzed using multi-level modeling.
Results Prevalence of injuries and illnesses were 18.1% and 4.6% for 1-match weeks and 17.2% and 3.3% for ≥2-match weeks. Severity scores and time-loss were not significantly different for 1-match weeks compared to ≥2-match weeks. Total weekly load was lower during ≥2-match weeks compared to 1-match weeks.
Conclusions No significant differences for injuries and illnesses were observed between 1-match weeks and ≥2-match weeks. Coaches appeared to reduce training load to compensate for multiple matches during short-term match congestion.
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