Injuries among world-class professional beach volleyball players. The Fédération Internationale de Volleyball beach volleyball injury study

Am J Sports Med. 2003 Jan-Feb;31(1):119-25. doi: 10.1177/03635465030310010401.


Background: Very little is known about the injury characteristics of beach volleyball.

Purpose: To describe the incidence and pattern of injuries among professional male and female beach volleyball players.

Study design: Cohort study--retrospective injury recall and prospective registration.

Methods: Injuries occurring over a 7.5-week interval of the summer season were retrospectively registered by interviewing 178 of the 188 participating players (95%) in the 2001 Beach Volleyball World Championships. Injuries were also cataloged prospectively during five of the tournaments held during this interval.

Results: Fifty-four acute injuries was recorded, of which 23 (43%) resulted in 1 or more days of missed practice or competition. The incidence of acute time-loss injuries was estimated to be 3.1 per 1000 competition hours and 0.8 per 1000 training hours. Knee (30%), ankle (17%), and finger injuries (17%) accounted for more than half of all acute time-loss injuries. In addition, 67 players reported 79 overuse injuries for which they received medical attention during the study period. The three most common overuse conditions were low back pain (19%), knee pain (12%), and shoulder problems (10%). Similar results were observed in the prospective portion of the study.

Conclusions: The rate of acute time-loss injuries in beach volleyball is considerably lower than that in most other team sports, but overuse injuries affecting the low back, knees, and shoulder represent a significant source of disability and impaired performance for professional beach volleyball players.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Ankle Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Finger Injuries / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Knee / physiopathology
  • Knee Injuries / epidemiology
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Shoulder / physiopathology
  • Sports*