Association between ball-handling versus defending actions and acute noncontact lower extremity injuries in high school basketball and soccer

Scott M. Monfort, R. Dawn Comstock, Christy L. Collins, James A. Onate, Thomas M. Best, Ajit M.W. Chaudhari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: High school-sponsored athletic programs currently provide more than 7.7 million students in the United States with health and societal benefits, but they also inherently increase the risk of students sustaining a sports injury. Understanding risk factors that predict injuries in sports is an essential first step to addressing the problem in this population. Purpose: To determine the role of offensive versus defensive actions in noncontact lower extremity injury rates in high school basketball and soccer in both boys and girls sports. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiological study. Methods: Noncontact lower extremity injury data were collected from academic years 2005-2006 through 2011-2012 for boys and girls basketball and soccer through the surveillance tool High School RIO (reporting information online). The injuries in this subset of the database occurred over a total of 6.4 million athlete-exposures. Results: Significant differences in overall lower extremity injury rates were found when comparing ball-handling and defending actions in basketball (rate ratio [RR], 1.36; 95% CI, 1.08-1.73; P = .009), but no appreciable difference was observed in soccer (RR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.70-1.12; P = .31). Female participants had higher injury rates than did males for both ball-handling and defending actions for both sports (P<.05). Only girls soccer showed significant differences in the odds ratio (OR) of defending to ball-handling injury rates between competition and practice (OR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.01-3.48; P = .047). Conclusion: The injury rate differences observed in this study between offensive and defensive actions suggest that investigating potential differences between sport-specific tasks may provide a more complete understanding of injury mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-807
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 4 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Injury prevention
  • Pediatric sports medicine
  • Soccer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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