Comparative Study Of Postural Control And Functional Performance Between Collegiate Women’s Ice Hockey And Soccer Athletes

Open Access
Song, Han Sol
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • William E Buckley, Thesis Supervisor
  • Giampietro Luciano Vairo, Thesis Supervisor
  • Jinger S. Gottschall, Honors Advisor
  • ice hockey
  • soccer
  • ACL injury
  • postural control
  • functional performance
  • static balance
  • dynamic balance
  • crossover hop
COMPARATIVE STUDY OF POSTURAL CONTROL AND FUNCTIONAL PERFORMANCE BETWEEN COLLEGIATE WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY AND SOCCER ATHLETES Song H, Buckley WE, Vairo GL: Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA Context: Based on injury statistics published by the National Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA), women’s ice hockey demonstrates a lower incidence for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury compared with other women’s sports such as soccer, which is associated with a greater incidence. However, limited evidence exists to explain this phenomenon. Objective: To investigate differences in postural control and functional performance between collegiate women’s ice hockey and soccer athletes as a means to identify factors that may address the disparity in ACL injury incidence. We hypothesized that women’s ice hockey participants would display better outcome measures than women’s soccer participants. Design and Settings: A descriptive study was conducted in a controlled research laboratory. Participants: Ten NCAA D-I women's ice hockey athletes (19.3 ± 1.06 years, 1.64 ± 0.91 m, 64.25 ± 6.59 kg, 24.43 ± 5.79 % body fat) were matched by approximate age, height, mass and body fat percentage to 10 soccer athletes (19.5 ± 1.51 years, 1.69 ± 0.06 m, 64.69 ± 6.72 kg, 18.62 ± 7.23 % body fat) enrolled in the research study. Interventions: Center of pressure (COP) path length was measured via a reliable force platform protocol under eyes-opened and eyes-closed conditions as the static balance measure. Normalized reach distances were measured using the reliable Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) for the dynamic balance measures. The normalized crossover hop for distance was conducted for the functional performance measure. Group means and standard deviations were calculated per group. Separate two-sample tests were calculated to examine differences for the dependent variables between groups. P < 0.05 denoted statistical significance. Results: No statistically significant differences were found between the static and dynamic balance measures as well as the crossover hop test for the dominant leg. Statistical significance (P=0.028) was found with non-dominant leg crossover hop distance in women’s ice hockey athletes. Conclusion: A lack of group difference in postural control may suggest that balance may not be a factor influencing ACL injury rates for collegiate women’s soccer and ice hockey. Greater non-dominant leg crossover hop distance may indicate that functional performance potentially contributes to fewer ACL injuries in ice hockey. However, the difference in the nature of sport as well as the difference of the competitiveness should be considered.