Monthly Archives: December 2009

Lacrosse Skills And Equipment: Maverik Lacrosse Premiers “Soldiers Exposed — Paul Rabil”, High-Quality Videos By Lacrosse Film Director Jay Jalbert


Maverik Lacrosse premiers “Soldiers Exposed — Paul Rabil,” the first in a new series of profile videos from Maverik Films and cutting edge lacrosse film director Jay Jalbert.

Lacrosse Injuries: Medical Studies Show That “Knee Injury Prevention Training Programs” Are Effective If They Follow Several Critical Elements


“It is important to note that several knee injury prevention training programs have been published and shown to be effective in improving neuromuscular deficits and reducing the risk of knee injuries, particularly in the female at-risk athlete. All successful programs incorporate the following key elements: a dynamic warm-up period that is high energy and efficient; plyometric/jump training with emphasis placed on body posture and control, trunk positioning, dynamic core balance, and entire-body control through a specific task; strength training for the core and lower extremity; sports-specific aerobic and skill components; and pre-season and in-season training programs that are strictly followed. Pre-season training program may be 6 to 8 weeks in duration, 3 days a week for up to 1.5 hours per day. In-season maintenance programs can be done in 15 minutes during pre-game warm-up 3 times per week.24″

January 2010

Neuromuscular training has a significant effect on reducing relative ACL injury risk in female athletes in high-risk landing and cutting sports like soccer, basketball, volleyball, and team handball.

As many as 1 in 20 collegiate-level and 1 in 50 to 100 high school-level female athletes sustain an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury during any given year of varsity sports.1,2 The answer to the posed rhetorical question “do ACL prevention programs actually reduce risk?” is neuromuscular training has a significant effect, from 24% to 82% reduction of relative ACL injury risk in female athletes in high-risk landing and cutting sports like soccer, basketball, volleyball, and team handball.

Growth in female sports participation at a two- to ten-fold higher rate has led to a great gender inequity in ACL injury. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) reported >150,000 female participants in varsity sports each year.3 The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA) reported >3.2 million female participants annually in high school sports programs.4 Based on these figures, >50,000 debilitating ACL injuries likely occur in female athletes at the high school and intercollegiate varsity levels during an average year.

Most ACL injuries occur by noncontact mechanisms, during deceleration from a landing or making a lateral pivot.5 Neuromuscular training is effective in the reduction of ACL injury risk in females because females demonstrate 4 neuromuscular imbalances that may put them at greater risk of ACL injury than males and that may be ameliorated with neuromuscular training. These potentially correctable neuromuscular imbalances—ligament dominance (increased load on the knee joint), quadriceps dominance (decreased knee flexor recruitment and strength), leg dominance (increased leg-to-leg differences in muscle coordination and strength), and trunk dominance (increased motion of the body’s center of mass)—may decrease dynamic knee stability in females and lead to the gender bias in ACL injury risk.6,7

Are Female Athletes Really at Higher Risk for ACL Injuries?

Female athletes are 2 to 10 times more likely to sustain an ACL injury compared to male athletes playing the same landing and cutting sports.5-11 Since the enactment of Title IX, male participation at the high school level has remained steady, while female participation has increased approximately ten-fold (from <0.3 to >3.2 million).4

High school and collegiate athletics contributes to >50,000 ACL injuries in female athletes each year. An estimated 1 in every 100 high school female athletes will sustain an ACL tear. At an estimated cost of $17,000 per patient2 to reconstruct and rehabilitate the ACL in these athletes, overall costs would exceed $680 million annually. Of additional concern is the fact that successful ACL reconstruction in 2009 has shown the ability to return the athlete to the playing field at his or her previous level of performance in the majority of cases.

More than 50% of the patients show early signs of irreversible osteoarthritis within 10 years of ACL reconstruction, particularly female athletes. This is in addition to the traumatic effect to these individuals of the potential loss of entire seasons of sports participation, possible scholarship funding, and potential decreased performance in the academic arena.12

A major theory to account for higher knee injury incidence in female athletes is that neuromuscular imbalances, due to training deficiencies, developmental differences, or perhaps hormonal influences, lead to higher injury rates. Other variables that may be contributory include lower limb alignment as well as biomechanics and kinematics, overall ligament size and strength, and muscular fatigue over a given length of time.

This article focuses on the neuromuscular theory for 2 reasons. First, if neuromuscular training can alter observed neuromuscular imbalances in the laboratory and if the same neuromuscular training can decrease ACL injury risk on the field and court, then neuromuscular control must be a primary underlying factor for increased risk.5-11 Second, intervention and prevention are likely to have the greatest impact on neuromuscular control, where adaptation readily occurs, if properly guided by trained health care professionals.

Does Neuromuscular Training Decrease the Incidence of ACL Injury?

The majority of published studies demonstrate that neuromuscular training has an approximately 50% efficacy rate for decreasing relative ACL injury risk in female athletes in landing and cutting sports like soccer, basketball, volleyball, and team handball. Neuromuscular training alters active knee joint stabilization in the laboratory and aids in decreasing ACL injury rates in female athletes in the field.

Hewett et al2 reported the first prospective study of the effects of a neuromuscular training program on ACL injury in the high-risk female sports population. The rate of ACL injury was decreased 45% in the trained group relative to the untrained group. The findings of Hewett et al6 have been subsequently confirmed by several studies that used similar neuromuscular training protocols in young female athletes.13,14 Considered together, these studies provide strong evidence demonstrating that neuromuscular training is likely to prove an effective solution to the problem of sex bias in ACL injury risk.

In a prospective study by Hewett et al,2 trained females were no different than untrained males. Training resulted in great differences in noncontact ACL injuries between the female groups. These results indicate that neuromuscular training decreases injury risk in female athletes. Although the study by Hewett et al2 was the first to demonstrate significant decreases with neuromuscular training specifically in the female athlete, other studies have demonstrated similar significant decreases or trends toward significant changes in female, male, and mixed gender populations. Figure 1 shows the relative percentage decreases in relative injury rates following various training programs.

Figure 1: Percent decrease in ACL injuries
Figure 1: Percent decrease in ACL injuries in 7 ACL injury prevention neuromuscular training studies. The range of effect sizes of these studies was 24% to 82% reduction, and the average decrease in risk was approximately one-half (mean, 48%) reduction in ACL injury risk with neuromuscular training. (Hewett TE et al,2 Heidt RS Jr et al,13 Mandelbaum B,14 Söderman K et al,15 Myklebust G et al,16 Petersen W et al,17 Gilchrist J et al.18)

How Does Neuromuscular Training Decrease Incidence of ACL Injury?

Four neuromuscular imbalances are observed more often in female than male athletes. The first observed neuromuscular imbalance is the tendency for females to be ligament dominant. Females demonstrate a tendency to allow stress on ligaments prior to muscular activation to absorb ground reaction forces. Typically during single-leg landing, pivoting, or deceleration, as often occurs during ACL injury, the female athlete allows the ground reaction force to control the direction of motion of the lower extremity joints, especially the knee joint. The lack of dynamic muscular control of the joint leads to increased valgus motion, increased force, and high torque at the knee and ACL.

Another imbalance is termed quadriceps dominance. With quadriceps dominance, female athletes activate their knee extensors preferentially over their knee flexors during sports movements to stabilize their knee joint, which accentuates and perpetuates strength and coordination imbalances between these muscles.

A third imbalance is leg dominance. Leg dominance is the imbalance between muscular strength and coordination on opposite limbs, with 1 limb often demonstrating greater strength and coordination. Limb dominance may place both the weaker, less-coordinated limb and the stronger limb at increased risk of ACL injury. The weaker limb is compromised in its ability to dissipate forces and torques, while the stronger limb may be subject to high forces and torques due to increased dependence and increased loading on that side in high-force situations.

The final imbalance often observed in female athletes is trunk dominance. Trunk dominance is characterized by increased motion of the body’s center of mass due to the absence of neuromuscular control of approximately two-thirds of the body mass during single-leg landing, pivoting, or deceleration.19-21

Ligament Dominance—High Torques at the Knee and High Impact Forces

Typically during single-leg landing, pivoting, or deceleration, the motion of the female athlete’s knee joint is directed by the ground reaction forces, rather than by the athlete’s musculature. This results in high knee valgus motion and high ground reaction forces. Figure 2 shows the gender disparity in knee abduction motion and load between female and male athletes when dropping off of a box and progressing into a maximum vertical jump.

Figure 2A: Decreased dynamic valgus motion Figure 2B: Increased dynamic valgus motion Figure 2C: Decreased dynamic valgus motion in a male athlete
Figure 2: Differences in valgus knee motion between female and male athletes when dropping off a box and progressing into a maximum vertical jump (performing a drop vertical jump maneuver). Decreased dynamic valgus motion during landing in a trained or preadolescent female (A). Increased dynamic valgus motion during landing in an untrained or mature adolescent female (B). Decreased dynamic valgus motion in a male athlete (C).

Quadriceps Dominance—Decreased Posterior Kinetic Chain Torques

The problem of quadriceps dominance has been documented in the literature.6,7 With quadriceps dominance, female athletes tend to activate their knee extensors preferentially over their knee flexors to control knee stability. This over-reliance on the quadriceps muscles leads to imbalances in strength and coordination between the quadriceps and the knee flexor musculature. Quadriceps dominance must be addressed and overcome with dynamic neuromuscular training.

Leg Dominance—Leg-to-Leg Imbalances in Muscle Recruitment, Strength, and Stability

Female athletes have been reported to generate lower knee flexor torques on the nondominant than in the dominant leg.6 Side-to-side imbalances in neuromuscular strength, flexibility, and coordination have been shown to be important predictors of increased ACL injury risk.2,6,22 Knapik et al22 demonstrated that side-to-side balance in strength and flexibility is important for the prevention of injuries, and when imbalances are present, the athlete is more injury prone. Baumhauer et al23 also found that individuals with neuromuscular (muscle strength) imbalances exhibited a higher incidence of injury.

Trunk Dominance—Excessive Motion of the Body’s Center of Mass

During landing, pivoting, or deceleration, the motion of the female athlete’s trunk is often excessive and directed by that body segment’s inertia, rather than by the athlete’s core muscle contraction patterns. This results in excessive trunk motion, especially in the frontal or coronal plane, and high ground reaction forces and knee joint abduction torques (knee load).

It is important to note that several knee injury prevention training programs have been published and shown to be effective in improving neuromuscular deficits and reducing the risk of knee injuries, particularly in the female at-risk athlete. All successful programs incorporate the following key elements: a dynamic warm-up period that is high energy and efficient; plyometric/jump training with emphasis placed on body posture and control, trunk positioning, dynamic core balance, and entire-body control through a specific task; strength training for the core and lower extremity; sports-specific aerobic and skill components; and pre-season and in-season training programs that are strictly followed. Pre-season training program may be 6 to 8 weeks in duration, 3 days a week for up to 1.5 hours per day. In-season maintenance programs can be done in 15 minutes during pre-game warm-up 3 times per week.24

The goal of this program is to avoid injury by teaching athletes strategies to avoid vulnerable positions, improve strength and flexibility, and improve proprioception. Those of us fortunate enough to be involved in youth, high school, and collegiate athletics should pass this information on to our sports medicine team colleagues whenever possible. If we are able to prevent just 1 ACL injury, it is worth the effort. Only with education will we hopefully see a decrease in this dreaded injury, which is often season- and career-ending to some.

California College Lacrosse: San Diego State Men’s Lacrosse 2010 Schedule Features BYU, Arizona State, Chapman, Oregon State And Sonoma State


 

Date Opponent Result
2/06 LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 5:00 pm
2/11 BRIGHAM YOUNG 6:30 pm
2/14 vs. Santa Clara 1:00 pm
2/19 at Arizona State 7:00 pm
2/21 at Arizona 12:00 pm
2/26 vs. Chapman 7:00 pm
3/05 SMU 7:00 pm
3/07 UCLA 2:00 pm
3/14 CHICO STATE 2:00 pm
3/17 IDAHO 7:00 pm
3/20 WASHINGTON 6:00 pm
3/23 UC DAVIS 6:30 pm
3/26 OREGON STATE 4:00 pm
3/28 at Sonoma State 1:00 pm
4/03 SAN DIEGO 6:00 pm
4/16 UNLV 7:00 pm
4/24 at UC San Diego 6:00 pm
Coach: Matt Holman

Washington Youth Lacrosse: Issaquah Youth Lacrosse League Co-Founders Matthew Balkman And Scott Wiley Step Down After 5 Years With 40 Boys And Girls Lacrosse Teams And 600 Athletes In Program


Scott Wiley’s passion for lacrosse stemmed from his experience playing the sport as a youth in New England.

When Matthew Balkman and Scott Wiley founded the Issaquah Youth Lacrosse league on the plateau in the spring of 2004, they were expecting to have two teams. To their surprise, about 80 athletes signed up — enough to form four teams. The league’s popularity has continued skyrocketing from there.

As lacrosse has grown in various pockets around the state, they noticed a growing hunger for the mostly unknown sport among athletes and their parents around Sammamish and Issaquah. Having played lacrosse in high school in New England, Wiley knew the sport better than most in the area. Balkman got into it when his kids became interested after watching a tournament on vacation in Florida.
Five years later, as they finish up registration for the 2010 spring season, the league has 40 boys and girls teams. That’s about 600 athletes from first grade to high school. And that doesn’t count the leagues spun off from IYL in the past few years — Eastlake Lacrosse and Eastside Crusaders Youth Lacrosse.
“It’s taken on a life of its own,” said Wiley, thinking back on the immense and growing popularity. “And it’s partly taken over our lives. We’re really lucky we had a lot of great parents.”
Balkman, of Issaquah, and Wiley, of Sammamish, recently announced they will step down as IYL co-presidents this winter. Charles Mauzy and Eric Bean, both heavily involved in coaching or administrative aspects of the league, will take on the co-president role for the next two seasons, according to a letter to players and parents.
“Scott and Matthew add such a passion for the sport and just a passion for working with the kids,” Bean said.
That passion translated into one of the most successful and fastest-growing youth lacrosse leagues on the West Coast, Mauzy said.
“Our vision was to have every youth in the community have a lacrosse experience, which means to try it out for a season,” Balkman said.
Growth since 2004:
Since U.S. Lacrosse, the sport’s national governing body, began compiling statistics in 2001, lacrosse participation more than doubled to 524,100 nationwide, according to its 2008 Participation Survey. In one year, girls youth lacrosse participation increased from about 85,000 to more than 96,000.
“A lot of these kids, once they see it, they get hooked,” said U.S. Lacrosse Public Relations Manager Colleen Sperry Aungst. “It’s still in (regional) pockets a little bit, but it is growing like wildfire. It’s not just on the East Coast anymore.”
In the spring of 2004, Washington had 26 teams, Balkman said. IYL’s growth spurt has added 40 and the state now has more than 100.
“We’ve pretty much added teams every single year,” Balkman said.
The key seems to have been the league’s desire to include all who are interested in playing. When a team gets past 20 players, they try to make a new one, so as to give the youth plenty of playing time.
One could also attribute the league’s success to Balkman and Wiley’s backgrounds in sales and marketing. Balkman’s business card sums it up. It says “You would make a great lacrosse player!” He said when he passes them out, he tells prospective players to read it aloud once, then take it home and read it to their parents.
The duo’s stress on sportsmanship has played an important role in the success of the league, Bean said. It’s popular with youth because they get to run around with pads, wielding a stick, Bean said, but they also learn the value of playing for the sake of playing.
“It really infuses that whole spirit within the whole organization,” Bean said. “There’s just more positive energy that goes around in this sport than any other.”
The league has a 95 percent retention rate, Balkman and Wiley said. That’s partly because youth can play football, soccer or other sports in the fall and come out for lacrosse in the spring. It’s also because the athletes learn skills that are useful in other sports, Balkman and Wiley said.
“What they build in lacrosse is quickness and agility, and that is transferable,” Balkman said. “We’re huge fans of multi-sport athletes.”
The meaning of service:  When you get them going, Balkman and Wiley can talk a lot about lacrosse; you name it, they know it. They scheme about how to better reach new players and families, how to get more fields available and how to continue to win.
“They’re really the two that popularized it. They really fired the kids up and popularized it,” Mauzy said.
IYL teams consistently win select tournaments, the Issaquah High club team has been to the state playoffs seven of its nine years, including two championships, and Skyline’s club team had gone to the playoffs in all of its five seasons.
But in the end, it’s all about serving the community, they say.
“They’re not doing it for glory,” Bean said.
They tend to have the whole community in mind when running around like crazy to take care of league operations and such.
“It’s not about your kid,” Balkman said. “It’s about the community, about the sport.”
If it were about their kids, they wouldn’t still be involved. Balkman’s last son graduated the league in 2007; Wiley’s first son in 2005.
“We could’ve just bagged it after our kids graduated,” Wiley said.
Although Balkman and Wiley stepped down as presidents, they said they will still assist in various capacities around the league. Mauzy and Bean said they look forward to taking Balkman and Wiley’s foundation and building it even stronger.
Bean said he looks forward to “helping to build an organization that allows people to plug in and do something they feel great about.”
Reporter Christopher Huber can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com.

California College Lacrosse: UC Davis Men’s Lacrosse Schedule Features Santa Clara, Southern Oregon, Sonoma State, Claremont And Cal Berkeley


 

Date
Home
Away
Time
 
January 24
Dominican
UC Davis
TBA
 
January 30
UC Davis
UCSC
7:00pm
 
February 6
UC Davis
Santa Clara
7:00pm
 
February 13
Southern Oregon
UC Davis
1:00pm
 
February 14
Portland State
UC Davis
1:00pm
 
February 20
UC Davis
Cal Poly
12:00pm
 
February 27
UC Davis
Sonoma State
12:00pm
 
March 13
UC Davis
Stanford
7:00pm
 
March 22
UCSD
UC Davis
7:00pm
 
March 23
SDSU 
UC Davis
6:30pm
 
March 24
USD
UC Davis
7:00pm
 
March 25
Claremont 
UC Davis
7:00pm
 
March 30
UC Davis
Boise State
7:00pm
 
April 3
Cal
UC Davis
2:00pm
 
April 9 UC Davis Chico State 7:00pm  

Western College Lacrosse: Utah Men’s Lacrosse 2010 Schedule Features Arizona, Colorado, Colorado State And BYU


 

Opponent Date Time Venue
  Boise State University 02/19/2010 9:00 p.m. Spence Eccles Fieldhouse, Salt Lake City, UT  
  Montana State 02/26/2010 9:00 p.m. Spence Eccles Fieldhouse, Salt Lake City, UT  
  University of Nevada, Las Vegas 03/05/2010 TBA Kellogg Zaher Sports Complex, Las Vegas, NV  
  University of Arizona 03/07/2010 TBA TBA  
  University of Montana 03/12/2010 9:00 p.m. Spence Eccles Fieldhouse, Salt Lake City, UT  
  Westminster College 03/17/2010 4:00pm Westmister – Dumke Field  
  University of Colorado 03/22/2010 7:00pm University of Colorado, Boulder, CO  
  Colorado State University 03/24/2010 4:00pm Colorade State University, Fort Collins, CO  
  Gonzaga University 04/02/2010 TBA TBA, Salt Lake City, UT  
  Sonoma State University 04/07/2010 TBA TBA, Salt Lake City, UT  
  Brigham Young University 04/10/2010 TBA TBA, Salt Lake City, UT  
  Utah State University 04/14/2010 TBD Utah State University, Logan, UT  
  Utah Valley University 04/24/2010 TBA TBA, Salt Lake City, UT    

Western College Lacrosse: Colorado State Men’s Lacrosse 2010 Schedule Features Texas, Simon Fraser, Arizona State, Michigan And BYU


 

Coach Alex Smith: (970) 377-1390

  Opponent Date Day Time Location/Result
Northern Colorado @ Northern Colorado Feb 17 Wednesday 4:00 pm Greeley, CO
Colorado College @ Colorado College (DIII) Feb 20 Saturday 1:00 pm Colorado Springs, CO
Lindenwood @ Lindenwood Feb 26 Friday 7:00 pm St. Charles, MO
Texas vs. Texas Feb 27 Saturday 4:00 pm St. Charles, MO
Simon Fraser Simon Fraser Mar 5 Friday 7:00 pm Home
New Hampshire New Hampshire Mar 7 Sunday 1:00 pm Home
Arizona State @ Arizona State Mar 13 Saturday 2:00 pm Tempe, AZ
Arizona @ Arizona Mar 15 Monday 4:00 pm Tucson, AZ
Chico State vs. Chico State Mar 17 Wednesday 7:00 pm Phoenix, AZ
Utah Utah* Mar 24 Wednesday 4:00 pm Home
Utah State Utah State* Mar 27 Saturday 7:00 pm Home
Colorado Colorado* Apr 3 Saturday 4:00 pm Home
Minnesota Duluth Minnesota-Duluth Apr 9 Friday 7:00 pm Home
Michigan Michigan Apr 11 Sunday 12:00 pm Home
Michigan State Michigan State Apr 18 Sunday 1:00 pm Home
Brigham Young Brigham Young* Apr 24 Saturday 1:00 pm Home
2010 RMLC Championship Tournament
  Semi-Finals Apr 30 Friday TBD Provo, UT
  Finals May 1 Saturday TBD Provo, UT
2010 MCLA Championship Tournament
  1st Round May 11 Tuesday TBD Denver, CO
  Quarter Finals May 12 Wednesday TBD Denver, CO
  Semi-Finals May 14 Friday TBD Denver, CO
  Finals May 15 Saturday TBD Denver, CO