A prevention programme for rugby injuries based on an analysis among adolescent players
Hattingh, Johannes Hendrikus Bernhard
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The aim of this study is to develop a prevention programme for rugby injuries, based on analysis among adolescent players, with reference to physical and motor, anthropometric and biomechanical and postural variables. A further aim of this prevention programme will be to address and improve the physical and motor, anthropometric and biomechanical and postural standards of young school players, to be introduced at an early school level to curb injury epidemiology. An analysis of literature resources was done by making use of electronic media, a library search and a search of sports and sports medicine journals. Databases such as Pubmed, EbscoHost (Academic Search Elite), Sciencedirect and Medline were used. Also, the chief medical officers of Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, New Zealand and Australia, the seven major rugby-playing nations, were contacted via electronic media for input and assistance on the research topics. Special consideration was given to rugby injury epidemiology, the physical and motor and anthropometric standards of elite senior secondary school and junior tertiary rugby players. A new approach involving the biomechanical make-up of players was also introduced. In this study a total of a 331 elite rugby players were used. The players were chosen according to gratification of position and availability, and further divided into four age groups. The two junior groups consisted of 15-and 18-year-old elite provincial school players in the North West Province of South Africa, participating in the Craven week. The two senior teams comprised 19-and 20-year-old elite tertiary education level players of the Potchefstroom University Rugby Institute. Once approval had been granted by the players, the North West Leopards Schools Rugby Union as well as the University of Potchefstroom Rugby Institute, the players were submitted to a test battery. Anthropometric and physical and motor tests were done mid-season. Proper steps were taken to address existing shortcomings identified in the test subjects. Re-tests were done (19-and 20-year-old) at the end of the season to re-evaluate the test subjects. Biomechanical testing of all four identified groups was done pre-season. Once results had been analyzed, the appropriate individual programmes were formulated, explained and implemented. This aim was to address the possible risk areas identified by the screening. Results were statistically processed, recorded and compared with earlier literature studies. A prevention programme was compiled: >-Pre-season preparation programme >-Start-of-season level 1: 6 week maintenance programme >-Start-of-season level 2: advanced maintenance programme >-Mid-season 1 week conditioning programme >-Mid-season level 3: most advanced conditioning programme >-Off-season maintenance programme Recommendations were made, and shortcomings of this study identified.
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