Injury rate and injury patterns in FIS World Cup Alpine skiing (2006–2015): have the new ski regulations made an impact?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBritish Journal of Sports Medicine 2015, 50, 32-36 10.1136/bjsports-2015-095467
Background: New regulations for ski equipment were implemented prior to the 2012/2013 season in the International Ski Federation (FIS) alpine World Cup (WC). Objective: To investigate the effect of the new ski regulations on the rate and pattern of injuries by comparing data before (2006-12) and after (2012-15) the implementation. Methods: Injuries were recorded based on the FIS Injury Surveillance System (FIS ISS) through retrospective interviews at the end of each of the nine WC seasons (2006-15). All acute injuries occurring during the competitive season that required medical attention were registered. Injury incidence was expressed as the absolute injury rate (injuries per 100 athletes per season) and as the relative injury rate (injuries per 1000 runs). Exposure was calculated based on the official result lists. Results: The absolute injury rate was lower in the three seasons after the new ski regulations compared to the six seasons before (risk ratio (RR) 0.74, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.87). This was also the case for the relative injury rate (RR 0.76, 95% CI 0.59 to 0.98). However, these changes were only evident for male skiers, not for females. There was a lower absolute injury rate for upper body injuries after the new ski regulations (RR 0.56, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.77), while no difference was found for lower extremity injuries (RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.70 to 1.01). Conclusion: We found a lower rate of injuries in the three seasons after the new ski regulation compared to the six seasons before. However, the ability to draw conclusions on the effects of the equipment change in subgroups of sex, discipline or body part is restricted by limited statistical power.
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