Context: Girls high school volleyball is very popular across the United States. There is limited prospective data regarding the incidence and risk factors of time loss (TL) and non-time loss (NTL) injuries sustained in this population.
Objectives: To estimate the incidence and describe the characteristics of injuries (TL and NTL) sustained in a girls' high school volleyball season.
Design: Descriptive epidemiology study.
Setting: Convenience sample of 78 high school interscholastic volleyball programs.
Patients or Other Participants: High school volleyball players participating during the 2018 interscholastic season.
Main Outcome Measures: TL and NTL injury rates, proportions, rate ratios, and with 95%CI.
Results: A total of 2,072 girls enrolled in the study with 468 subjects (22.5%) sustaining 549 injuries (NTL=28.4%, TL=71.6%) for an overall injury rate of 5.31 [4.89, 5.79] per 1000 AEs. The competition injury rate was greater than the practice injury rate for all injuries (IRR: 1.19, [1.00, 1.41]) and TL injuries (IRR: 1.31, [1.07, 1.60]). Players with a previous musculoskeletal injury had a higher rate of TL than NTL injuries (IRR; 1.36 [1.12, 1.65]). Ankle injuries accounted for the greatest proportion of TL injuries (n=110, 28%), while the greatest proportion of NTL injuries occurred in the hand/fingers (n=34, 22%). Moreover, ligament sprains accounted for 40% of TL injuries (n=156), whereas muscle/tendon strains (n=79, 51%) accounted for over half of all NTL injuries.
Conclusions: While the majority of injuries sustained by adolescent girls' volleyball athletes were TL in nature, nearly a third of all injuries were NTL injuries. Injury characteristics differed widely between TL and NTL injuries. Understanding the most common types and characteristics of injury among high school volleyball players is critical for the development of effective injury prevention programs.