Sports Science

A first-of-its-kind survey has confirmed what some water polo players - especially goalies - have long suspected: Concussions seem to be prevalent in the sport. At least in surveys.

More than a third of water polo participants reported sustaining a concussion either during games or in practice, according to a poll conducted by University of California, Irvine.


While women's tennis is arguably far more interesting than the men's game, there are some who want to make it more like the male version, or at least more competitive between women.

In a Journal of Sports Economics paper, the authors examined the differences between men's and women's tournament scores from the 24 top men's and 23 top women's singles tournaments of the 2010 season. They evaluated the "tightness," or competitiveness of a match according to how close the set scores were. Men's sets were consistently closer (6-4, 7-5), while women's sets tended to be more lopsided, with scores of 6-2, 6-1.


Most people who enjoy running or cycling know that if you drink a sports drink you can perform for longer. But for people taking part in sports such as football or tennis, where skill and accuracy are important, it’s unclear whether sports drinks can improve performance.

A new paper says that current practices for grouping and evaluating young dancers in ballet can be counterproductive, because it places late-maturing girls at a significant disadvantage during important phases of their development and at greater risk for injury.

The authors endorse an approach to training known as 'bio-banding', which groups individuals by their biological rather than chronological age and is popular in sports like football. 


Shoulder and elbow injuries in adolescent pitchers are becoming more and more prevalent each year. Researchers presenting their work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day, highlight how fatigue can affect pitching mechanics and potentially result in injuries. 

"Our study simulated a 90-pitch game for 28 elite, adolescent pitchers and investigated how their shoulder and elbow motions affected pitching speed, accuracy, pain, and pitching mechanics. As expected, the boys became progressively more fatigued and painful with additional pitches. We also found that their pitching mechanics changed, which may ultimately contribute to injury" said lead author, Peter Chalmers, MD from Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago.


Repairing massive rotator cuff tears is often a tricky proposition, especially for those who have failed prior surgery. Researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day today, discussed how a new arthroscopic procedure to treat large rotator cuff tears may help patients return to sports and work quicker. 

"Our work on utilizing an arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction (ASCR) restored shoulder function at a greater rate than previous forms of treatment and helped return our patients to recreational sport and work faster," said Teruhisa Mihata, MD, PhD from the Osaka Medical College


Preseason prevention programs are beneficial to young baseball pitchers, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day. The study, the first to analyze a well-monitored preseason training program, showed numerous arm flexibility and strength improvements in participating athletes that could ultimately diminish the risk of injuries.


In the world of American football, players have gotten big. Really big. It's one of the few sports where players actually lose a lot of weight after they retire. Wide receivers today are commonly the size of linebackers 30 years ago.

The perception is this obesity escalation filters down to college and high school as well, because of a size arms race, but new research suggests that being bigger doesn't mean being better -- and certainly not healthier.


Despite popular perceptions that cheerleading is dangerous, it is relatively safe - but it's not perfect and when injuries do happen they tend to be severe.

A new movie is out this month on NFL concussions, and the doctor who is the subject of the piece says football for anyone under age 18 should be banned - but an upcoming white paper from the American Council on Science and Health notes that a ban may be too heavy-handed. Cheerleading also has a lot of head injuries and concussions are not the top injury in youth football.


Researcher Christian Duval, PhD, and his team have developed a new, simple and non-invasive approach to create a biomechanical and cognitive profile of football players and more quickly and accurately detect concussions in these individuals. Christian Duval and his post-doctoral student Hung Nguyen, PhD, work at the Research Centre of the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, which is affiliated with the University of Montreal. They presented their preliminary research findings at the International Congress on Sport Sciences Research and Technology Support, which was held in Lisbon from November 15 to 17.