January 2018

Most volleyball-related ankle injuries occur during blocking

In the moment: Sports medicine

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By Nicole Wetsman

New evidence suggests that most volleyball-related ankle injuries are the result of a rapid inversion during blocking—often due to landing on an opponent or a teammate while attacking—rather than the injury occurring during plantar flexion, as once thought, according to a study published in the January 2018 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Five researchers viewed and analyzed videos of 24 ankle injuries from major Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) tournaments. The cohort included 14 men and 10 women. Fifteen of the injuries occurred during blocking, 11 of which resulted from landing on an oppo­nent and four from landing on a teammate. Of the six injuries that occurred during attacking, four were due to the back-row player landing on a front-row teammate and two to landing on an opponent. Moreover, the study states, “When landing on an opponent under the net, the attacker landed into the opponent’s court in 11 of 12 situations but without violating the center line rule.”


Skazalski C, Kruczynski J, Bahr MA, et al. Landing-related ankle injuries do not occur in plantarflexion as once thought: a systematic video analysis of ankle injuries in world-class volleyball. Br J Sports Med 2018;52(2):74-82. 

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