Y-Balance Test Performance After a Competitive Field Hockey Season: A Pretest-Posttest Study

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation

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Matthew C. Hoch
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Lauren A. Welsch
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Emily M. Hartley
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Cameron J. Powden
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Johanna M. Hoch
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Context: The Y-Balance Test (YBT) is a dynamic balance assessment used as a preseason musculoskeletal screen to determine injury risk. While the YBT has demonstrated excellent test-retest reliability, it is unknown if YBT performance changes following participation in a competitive athletic season. Objective: Determine if a competitive athletic season affects YBT performance in field hockey players. Design: Pretest-posttest. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: 20 NCAA Division I women's field hockey players (age = 19.55 ± 1.30 y; height = 165.10 ± 5.277 cm; mass = 62.62 ± 4.64 kg) from a single team volunteered. Participants had to be free from injury throughout the entire study and participate in all athletic activities. Interventions: Participants completed data collection sessions prior to (preseason) and following the athletic season (postseason). Between data collections, participants competed in the fall competitive field hockey season, which was ~3 months in duration. During data collection, participants completed the YBT bilaterally. Main Outcome Measures: The independent variable was time (preseason, postseason) and the dependent variables were normalized reach distances (anterior, posteromedial, posterolateral, composite) and between-limb symmetry for each reach direction. Differences between preseason and postseason were examined using paired t tests (P ≤ .05) as well as Bland-Altman limits of agreement. Results: 4 players sustained a lower extremity injury during the season and were excluded from analysis. There were no significant differences between preseason and postseason reach distances for any reach directions on either limb (P ≥ .31) or in the between-limb symmetries (P ≥ .52). The limits of agreement analyses determined there was a low mean bias across measurements (≤1.67%); however, the 95% confidence intervals indicated there was high variability within the posterior reach directions over time (±4.75 to ± 14.83%). Conclusion: No changes in YBT performance were identified following a competitive field hockey season in Division I female athletes. However, the variability within the posterior reach directions over time may contribute to the limited use of these directions for injury risk stratification.

MC Hoch and JM Hoch are with the Division of Athletic Training, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Welsch and Hartley are with the College of Health Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. Powden is with the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN.

MC Hoch (mhoch@odu.edu) is corresponding author.
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