Objectives: This study aimed to determine if ball position influences the risk of lower limb non-contact injury in hockey sweep pass. It also aimed to determine a ball position that minimises excessive strain placed on the lower limb joints of the lead leg during the sweep pass.
Methods: A cohort of 18 female hockey-playing volunteers (age: 19.7±1.5 years; height: 165.5±5.4 cm; body mass: 66.4±7.0 kg) were recruited. Participants performed the sweep pass using three different ball positions: in front, in line with, and behind the heel of the lead (left) foot. Motion analysis and force plate data were collected. Moments and angles in all three planes of motion for the three main lower limb joints were then calculated using Vicon software. Results were statistically analysed using SPSS software.
Results: Significant differences (p<0.05) were found between the three tested ball positions for the mean maximum angles and moments, and mean ranges of motion produced at the lead three main lower limb joints. Positioning the ball in line with the heel of the lead foot resulted in the lowest moments and angles when compared with the other two ball positions.
Conclusions: The results indicate that positioning the ball in line with the heel of the lead foot is recommended to minimise the risk of injury to the lower limb joints during the hockey sweep pass. It is hoped that these findings will result in this position being implemented by players new to hockey or those returning to the sport following injury.
- ball position
- sweep pass