Volleyball-related injuries in adolescent female players: an initial report

Phys Sportsmed. 2021 Sep;49(3):323-330. doi: 10.1080/00913847.2020.1826284. Epub 2020 Sep 30.


Objective: To determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with musculoskeletal injuries sustained in female adolescent volleyball players.

Methods: Volleyball players (n = 276; 13-18 years), with any level of volleyball experience, were recruited. Participants completed a study-specific survey about their overall sport(s) involvement, training modalities, volleyball experience (beginner, intermediate, advanced), annual volume of volleyball play, injuries accrued during volleyball, and care received for injury.

Results: Annual volume of volleyball play was higher in advanced than beginner/intermediate players (490.0 hr/yr versus 302.3 hr/yr; p < 0.0001). Nearly 67% (188/276) of participants incurred one or more volleyball-related injuries over the last year. The ankle (40.6%), fingers (36.6%), knee (21.2%), and shoulder (15.5%) were the most frequently reported injury. Injury prevalence was higher in advanced than beginner/intermediate players (73.5% versus 62.0%; p = 0.04). Beginner/intermediate players have significantly higher odds ratio (OR) of sustaining an elbow injury than advanced players (OR 5.88; p = 0.025). 21.5% of injured players missed more than one month of play.

Conclusion: More competitive and experienced adolescent female players may incur injuries due to progressively higher volumes of play as experience and competition level increase. Players who have committed to only playing volleyball participated in greater volumes of volleyball play, which increases the odds of sustaining an injury.

Clinical relevance: Understanding injury risk factors may improve clinical management and injury prevention.

Keywords: Epidemiology; adolescent; injury; shoulder; volleyball.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ankle Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Finger Injuries / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / epidemiology
  • Shoulder Injuries / epidemiology
  • Volleyball* / injuries