Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine


Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968
       SCImago 2016     SJR: 0.981   Cites per Doc. 2-Year: 2.04    3-Year: 2.17
JCReports 2016
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2017) 16, 480 - 488
Research article
The Use of External Workload to Quantify Injury Risk during Professional Male Basketball Games
Toni Caparrós1,2,, Martí Casals2,3, Javier Peña2,4, Eduard Alentorn-Geli5-7, Kristian Samuelsson8,9, Álvaro Solana, Jim Scholler, Tim J. Gabbett10,11

1 Institut Nacional d’Educació Física de Catalunya (INEFC), Barcelona, Spain
10 Gabbett Performance Solutions, Brisbane, Australia
11 University of Southern Queensland, Institute for Resilient Regions, Ipswich, Australia
2 port Performance Analysis Research Group (SPARG), Universitat de Vic, Vic, Spain
3 Research Centre Network for Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
4 Universitat de Vic, Vic, Spain
5 Artroscopia GC, SL, Hospital Quirón, Barcelona, Spain
6 Fundación García-Cugat, Barcelona, Spain
7 Mutualidad Catalana de Futbolistas – Federación Española de Fútbol, Barcelona, Spain
8 Department of Orthopaedics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Mo¨ lndal, Sweden
9 Department of Orthopaedics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Gothenburg, Sweden

Toni Caparrós
✉ c/Sant Joan Bosco 7-9, 08338, Premià de Dalt, Barcelona, Spain

03-05-2017 -- Accepted: 27-09-2017 --
Published (online): 01-12-2017


The main purpose of this study was to identify possible risk factors for injury in professional basketball using game tracking data. An observational prospective cohort study involving a professional basketball team of the National Basketball Association (NBA) of USA was conducted during three consecutive seasons. Twenty-six professional basketball players took part in this study. The team had a mean of 87.7 ± 2.9 games played per season. A total of 32 injuries were recorded, accounting for 301 total missed games with a mean of 8.9 ± 3.1 per player and season. Tracking data included the following variables: minutes played, physiological load, physiological intensity, mechanical load, mechanical intensity, distance covered, walking maximal speed, running maximal speed, sprinting maximal speed, maximal speed, offensive average speed, defensive average speed, level one acceleration, level two acceleration, level three acceleration, level four acceleration, level one deceleration, level two deceleration, level three deceleration, level four deceleration, player efficiency rating and usage percentage. The influence of demographic characteristics, tracking data and performance factors on the risk of injury was investigated using a multivariate analysis with their incidence rate ratios (IRRs). Athletes with less than 16 accelerations per game (IRR, 6.01; 95% CI, 1.37-20.63) and those running less than 2 miles per game (lower workload) (IRR, 2.94; 95% CI, 1.24-6.94) had a higher risk of injury during games (p = 0.01 in both cases). Therefore, unloaded players have a greater risk of injury. Adequate management of training loads might be a relevant factor to reduce the likelihood of injury according to individual profiles.

Key words: Game tracking, multivariate analysis, accelerations, distance, injury prevention
Key Points
The number of accelerations and the total distance can be considered risk factors for injuries in professional basketball players.
Unloaded players have greater risk of injury compared to players with higher accumulated external workload.
Workload management should be considered a major factor in injury prevention programs.



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