Anterior cruciate ligament injury programs are less successful in women's basketball than
soccer players, yet the reason for this discrepancy is unknown. Thus, this study will
recruit high school aged girl's basketball and soccer players, randomized teams into control
and experimental groups, administer an ACL injury prevention program in the experimental
group and compare the two groups on their lower extremity biomechanics before and after
completion of the program. Biomechanical analyses will help determine the extent to which
women's basketball and soccer players respond differently to a uniform injury prevention
program, and whether this prevention program provides an adequate stimulus to improve lower
extremity biomechanics during basketball-specific tasks.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury prevention programs are considerably less successful
in women's basketball than women's soccer. Women's basketball and soccer are each
characterized by distinct sport-specific demands, where women's basketball players perform
significantly more frequent jumping (2- and 1-legged landings) and frontal plane movements
than women's soccer players. Despite varying sport-specific demands, ACL injury prevention
programs have been uniformly administered in both sports, and emphasize improving high-risk
biomechanics during 2-legged sagittal plane tasks. As such, they may not provide the
appropriate stimulus to reduce ACL injury risk during the high-risk demands associated with
women's basketball. To date, the differential biomechanical adaptations that result from ACL
injury prevention programs in women's basketball and soccer have never been investigated.
This study will use a cluster randomized controlled trial using a repeated measures design.
Participants will be randomized (by team) in to control and intervention groups.
Participants in the control group will be asked to continue their normal daily and athletic
activities (practices, games) without participating any distinct injury prevention training.
Participants in the intervention group will complete at 6 week ACL injury prevention program
previously described in the literature as being effective at reducing ACL injury risk. The
prevention program lasts 20-25 minutes in duration and will take place as a warm-up prior to
any practice. The frequency will depend solely on the number of practices each team holds
throughout the given 6-week time period. A member of the research team plans to be at each
intervention session. All participants will complete pre- and post-testing approximately 1
week before the onset and after the completion of the prevention program, respectively. As
stated previously, all pre- and post-testing will be performed at the High Point University
Human Biomechanics and Physiology Laboratory.
The following are Specific Aims and Hypotheses. Specific Aim 1. To determine the extent to
which women's basketball and soccer players employ distinct lower extremity movement
strategies during sagittal and frontal plane jump landing tasks.
Hypothesis 1. Prior to training, women's basketball athletes will exhibit no significant
differences in high-risk hip and knee kinematics, but will generate higher hip and knee
joint moments during jump landing activities than women's soccer players.
Specific Aim 2. To determine the response of women's basketball and soccer athletes to a
6-week ACL injury prevention program, as measured by changes in multi-planar hip and knee
biomechanics of jump landings during sagittal and frontal plane jump landing tasks.
Hypothesis 1. After 6 weeks of training, high-risk biomechanics will improve to a larger
extent during sagittal plane than frontal plane jump landing tasks.
Hypothesis 2. After 6 weeks of training, there will be no significant differences in
biomechanical changes in women's basketball compared to women's soccer players.
- Participants will need to be participating in high school aged, competitive-level
basketball and/or soccer and are medically cleared to participate in sports.
- Participants will be excluded if they have a history of lower extremity surgery in
the past 6 months, or have been diagnosed with a vestibular, balance, or
cardiovascular disorders that may preclude safe participation during landing and