Netball is without doubt one of the greatest staff sports activities in Australia with greater than 1.2 million males, ladies and youngsters enjoying every week, underpinned by a nationwide footprint of greater than 4,000 neighborhood golf equipment.
Internationally greater than 20 million individuals play netball in additional than 70 nations. And it’s not only for younger ladies; males play in blended and male solely competitions, 5-7 12 months olds play within the NEtSetGO program and older gamers play within the Strolling Netball competitors.
Regardless of its recognition, netball frequently will get unhealthy rap for joints. Time and time once more in physiotherapy clinics, we hear sufferers say, “I’ve unhealthy knees as a result of I used to play netball” or “I’m terrified of letting my little one play netball – isn’t it horrible for joints?”
The analysis, nevertheless, exhibits a extra nuanced story.
Sure, there’s a threat of injuring your self whereas enjoying netball however the total threat of great harm is comparatively small – and much outweighed by the advantage of being match, energetic and a part of a staff.
What are the knee and ankle dangers with netball?
In contrast to different court-based sports activities, netball has strict guidelines on footwork.
Gamers can solely take one and a half extra steps after receiving the ball.
They’re additionally restricted to sure areas of the courtroom, relying on which place they’re enjoying.
The sudden braking required of netball gamers requires good energy, physique management and footwork.
A latest systematic evaluate reviews netball accidents in individuals aged over 15 predominantly happen within the decrease limb, notably the ankle and knee. Ligament sprains are the commonest harm.
Ankle accidents are extra frequent than knee accidents, the systematic evaluate discovered. And youthful gamers are likely to expertise extra higher limb accidents (comparable to fractures) than decrease limb accidents.
There are extra accidents in matches than in coaching. Ache on the entrance of the knee-cap can also be quite common in adolescent ladies who take part in leaping and pivoting sports activities comparable to netball.
Insurance coverage declare information signifies harm to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament, a significant stabiliser of the knee) represents about 13% of essentially the most critical netball accidents presenting to emergency departments.
This equates to a fee of just one harm for each 2,500 contributors. Nevertheless, this determine doubtless underestimates the precise harm fee as many individuals with these accidents go straight to their GP or native physiotherapist (reasonably than hospital).
The restricted information obtainable makes it onerous to precisely point out the harm fee in neighborhood netball. However in related court-based sports activities (comparable to handball or basketball), the ACL harm fee is one in each 100-200 gamers per calendar 12 months.
Although ACL accidents are uncommon, they’re a critical harm typically requiring day without work work or research and are expensive to the person and the well being care system by way of elevated threat of arthritis.
So is netball terribly a lot worse than different sports activities for joint harm threat? We don’t have sufficient information to conclusively reply this query. However what we will say from the restricted proof obtainable is the general threat of knee and joint harm in neighborhood netball is low.
Can something be accomplished to cut back harm threat for netballers?
Sure! There’s nice proof harm prevention packages work, lowering ACL accidents in feminine athletes by as much as 67%, different knee accidents by as much as 50%, and all decrease limb accidents by 30%.
Netball even has its personal injury-prevention program, often called the KNEE program (KNEE stands for knee harm prevention for netballers to reinforce efficiency and prolong play).
The KNEE Program is an on courtroom warm-up program aimed toward all ranges of netball. It goals to enhance the best way gamers run, change course, bounce and land (as that is what number of knee and ankle accidents occur).
For ache on the entrance of the knee-cap (patellofemoral ache), there’s additionally nice proof that workouts that strengthen the hip and knee muscle tissues – mixed with recommendation about exercise modification – may help.
For adolescents, patellofemoral ache typically happens during times of fast progress, however you will need to see a well being skilled for workouts and recommendation, as one in three proceed to expertise ache 12 months down the monitor.
Sure there are dangers with netball, however the advantages far outweigh them
As a fast paced non-contact sport, netball is incredible approach to hold energetic, enhance hand eye coordination and reap the bodily, psychological, and social advantages of taking part in a staff sport.
Being bodily match and robust can enhance your well being and scale back your threat of sickness.
Knees specifically prefer to be exercised; leisure runners have more healthy knees than those that lead a sedentary life-style.
Participation in sport is especially vital for adolescent ladies, who’re dropping out of sport at alarming charges.
Women who do play sport have a extra constructive physique picture and higher states of psychological well-being.
Being a part of a staff additionally helps ladies take pleasure in shared experiences, scale back isolation and be a part of one thing greater than themselves.
Many sports activities present related advantages however all sports activities have some dangers. When you or your kids take pleasure in netball, hold enjoying – the general advantages of netball outweigh the doable dangers.
Importantly, netball in Australia can function a automobile for empowerment, offering sturdy feminine roles fashions to encourage present and future generations.
Kay Crossley receives funding from the Nationwide Well being and Medical Analysis Council to analyze knee accidents in sport
Brooke Patterson and Sallie Cowan don’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or organisation that may profit from this text, and have disclosed no related affiliations past their tutorial appointment.