Adapted sport participation can have many positive benefits for adults with disabilities. However, one barrier to implementing successful adapted sport programs is lack of knowledgeable volunteers who understand accessibility and disability. In fact, little is known about volunteers’ experiences in adapted sport programs. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively examine experiences of able-bodied volunteers in an adapted sport program. A sample of 105 able-bodied volunteers (M age = 24.28 ± 1.93) completed an online qualitative survey to share their experiences. Data were analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis, and seven main themes were identified. Results showed that despite differences in initial motives for volunteering, involvement in an adapted sport program was transformative and, for some, life changing. Able-bodied volunteers experienced a wide range of benefits including deeper understanding and awareness of disability and inclusion in sport. Practical recommendations are provided for volunteer-based adapted sport program leaders.
Meredith Wekesser, Guilherme H. Costa, Piotr J. Pasik, and Karl Erickson
Yu-Ting Tseng, Chia-Liang Tsai, Tzu Hsuan Wu, Yi-Wen Chen, and Yi-Hsuan Lin
This study examined whether table tennis as a method of sensorimotor training improves haptic and motor function and to what extent haptic function gain correlates with changes in motor ability in children with probable developmental coordination disorder (pDCD). Children with pDCD were randomly assigned to the table tennis and nontraining control groups. The children in the table tennis group received 36 sessions of table tennis training, including ball balancing, hitting the ball against the wall, strokes, and serving. Haptic sensitivity, acuity, and motor function domains were measured. The results showed a 41.5% improvement in haptic sensitivity in children exposed to table tennis training compared with 2.8% in those without training. This improved haptic sensitivity significantly correlated with motor function gain, suggesting that somatosensory gains occur simultaneously with changes in motor function in children with pDCD. This novel upper limb motor training approach may be an interesting method of sensorimotor training in neurological rehabilitation in children with pDCD.
Nima Dehghansai, Alia Mazhar, and Joseph Baker
Research pertaining to the experiences and motives of Paralympic athletes who transfer between sports is scant. This study aimed to address this gap through semistructured interviews with Canadian Paralympic coaches (n = 35) and athletes (n = 12). Three higher-order themes of “alternative to retirement,” “career extension,” and “compatibility” were identified. The subthemes of “psychobehavioral” and “physical and physiological” (from the higher-order theme of alternative to retirement) captured reasons leading to transfer, which are similar to reasons athletes may consider retirement. The subthemes of career extension—“better opportunities” and “beneficial outcomes”—shed light on factors that contributed to the withdrawal of negative experiences and reinforcement of positive outcomes associated with transferring sports. Last, compatibility had three subthemes of “resources,” “sport-specific,” and “communication,” which encapsulated factors athletes should consider prior to their transfer. In conclusion, the participants highlighted the importance of transparent and effective communication between athletes and sports to align and establish realistic expectations for everyone involved.
AuraLea Fain, Benjamin Hindle, Jordan Andersen, Bradley C. Nindl, Matthew B. Bird, Joel T. Fuller, Jodie A. Wills, and Tim L.A. Doyle
This study aimed to validate a 7-sensor inertial measurement unit system against optical motion capture to estimate bilateral lower-limb kinematics. Hip, knee, and ankle sagittal plane peak angles and range of motion (ROM) were compared during bodyweight squats and countermovement jumps in 18 participants. In the bodyweight squats, left peak hip flexion (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = .51), knee extension (ICC = .68) and ankle plantar flexion (ICC = .55), and hip (ICC = .63) and knee (ICC = .52) ROM had moderate agreement, and right knee ROM had good agreement (ICC = .77). Relatively higher agreement was observed in the countermovement jumps compared to the bodyweight squats, moderate to good agreement in right peak knee flexion (ICC = .73), and right (ICC = .75) and left (ICC = .83) knee ROM. Moderate agreement was observed for right ankle plantar flexion (ICC = .63) and ROM (ICC = .51). Moderate agreement (ICC > .50) was observed in all variables in the left limb except hip extension, knee flexion, and dorsiflexion. In general, there was poor agreement for peak flexion angles, and at least moderate agreement for joint ROM. Future work will aim to optimize methodologies to increase usability and confidence in data interpretation by minimizing variance in system-based differences and may also benefit from expanding planes of movement.
Anna M. Martin, Donghyun Ryu, Robin C. Jackson, and David L. Mann
Para sport classification aims to minimize the impact of impairments on the outcome of competition. The International Paralympic Committee requires classification systems to be evidence based and sport specific, yet the sport of goalball uses a structure that is not supported by evidence demonstrating its legitimacy for competition. This study aimed to establish expert opinions on how a sport-specific system of classification should be structured in the sport of goalball. Using a three-round Delphi survey, 30 international experts expressed their views across topics linked to goalball classification. Participants were divided as to whether the current system fulfills the aim to minimize the impact of impairment on competition. Most felt that less impairment should be required to compete but that the one-class structure should remain. Experts identified measures of visual function that should be considered and 15 core components of individual goalball performance. Findings constitute a crucial first step toward evidence-based classification in goalball.
Nader Farahpour, Mahboube Alemzadeh, Mehri Mohammadi, Mohammadreza Rezaie, and Paul Allard
Left–right differential erector spinae (ES) muscle strengthening is required to correct ES muscle imbalances. The objective was to test the effect of 6 body positions on the differential activation of the ES muscles. In 14 able-bodied young women, using a surface electromyography system, the bilateral ES muscles activity at the third lumbar (ESL3) and the 10th (EST10) and 6th (EST6) thoracic vertebral levels was measured with the contralateral arm and leg lifted in the prone and quadruped conditions and with a single arm lifted in the quadruped position. Results showed that the activity of the ESL3 was symmetrical (P > .05) and significantly smaller than that of the thoracic ES muscles in all body positions (P < .01). The EST10 and EST6 were differentially activated in all tests (P < .001). Besides, the differential activation was higher in the contralateral-arm and -leg lift in the quadruped position than in the other positions. In conclusion, contralateral-arm and -leg lift and single-arm lift in the quadruped and prone positions are capable of differentially activating the ES muscles on one side more than the other side. Further studies are recommended to examine the effectiveness of these exercises on the correction of ES muscle imbalances in clinical populations.
Tomoya Ishida, Mina Samukawa, Yuta Koshino, Takumi Ino, Satoshi Kasahara, and Harukazu Tohyama
Asymmetry in knee extensor moment during double-leg squatting was observed after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, even after the completion of the rehabilitation program for return to sports. The purpose of this study was to clarify the association between asymmetry in the knee extensor moment and pelvic rotation angle during double-leg squatting after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Twenty-four participants performed double-leg squatting. Kinetics and kinematics during squatting were analyzed using a 3-dimensional motion analysis system with 2 force plates. The limb symmetry index of knee extensor moment was predicted by the pelvic rotation angle (R 2 = .376, P = .001). In addition, the pelvic rotation and the limb symmetry index of the vertical ground reaction force independently explained the limb symmetry index of the knee extensor moment (R 2 = .635, P < .001, β of pelvic rotation = −0.489, β of vertical ground reaction force = 0.524). Pelvic rotation toward the involved limb was associated with a smaller knee extensor moment in the involved limb than in the uninvolved limb. The assessment of pelvic rotation would be useful for partially predicting asymmetry in the knee extensor moment during double-leg squatting. Minimizing pelvic rotation may improve the asymmetry in the knee extensor moment during double-leg squatting after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
Ling Li, Yu Song, Maddy Jenkins, and Boyi Dai
Biomechanical behavior prior to landing likely contributes to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries during jump-landing tasks. This study examined prelanding knee kinematics and landing ground reaction forces (GRFs) during single-leg and double-leg landings in males and females. Participants performed landings with the dominant leg or both legs while kinematic and GRF data were collected. Single-leg landings demonstrated less time between prelanding minimal knee flexion and initial ground contact, decreased prelanding and early-landing knee flexion angles and velocities, and increased peak vertical and posterior GRFs compared with double-leg landings. Increased prelanding knee flexion velocities and knee flexion excursion correlated with decreased peak posterior GRFs during both double-leg and single-leg landings. No significant differences were observed between males and females. Prelanding knee kinematics may contribute to the increased risk of ACL injuries in single-leg landings compared with double-leg landings. Future studies are encouraged to incorporate prelanding knee mechanics to understand ACL injury mechanisms and predict future ACL injury risks. Studies of the feasibility of increasing prelanding knee flexion are needed to understand the potential role of prelanding kinematics in decreasing ACL injury risk.
Unai Latorre Erezuma, Maialen Zelaia Amilibia, Ander Espin Elorza, Camilo Cortés, Jon Irazusta, and Ana Rodriguez-Larrad
This study assessed the effectiveness of a passive back support exoskeleton during a mechanical loading task. Fifteen healthy participants performed a simulated patient transfer task while wearing the Laevo (version 2.5) passive back support exoskeleton. Collected metrics encompassed L5-S1 joint moments, back and abdominal muscle activity, lower body and back kinematics, center of mass displacement, and movement smoothness. A statistical parametric mapping analysis approach was used to overcome limitations from discretization of continuous data. The exoskeleton reduced L5-S1 joint moments during trunk flexion, but wearing the device restricted L5-S1 joint flexion when flexing the trunk as well as hip and knee extension, preventing participants from standing fully upright. Moreover, wearing the device limited center of mass motion in the caudal direction and increased its motion in the anterior direction. Therefore, wearing the exoskeleton partly reduced lower back moments during the lowering phase of the patient transfer task, but there were some undesired effects such as altered joint kinematics and center of mass displacement. Statistical parametric mapping analysis was useful in determining the benefits and hindrances produced by wearing the exoskeleton while performing the simulated patient transfer task and should be utilized in further studies to inform design and appropriate usage.
Alessandro Piras and Milena Raffi
In many daily and sport situations, people have to simultaneously perceive and process multiple objects and scenes in a short amount of time. A wrong decision may lead to a disadvantage for a team or for a single athlete, and during daily life (i.e., driving, surgery), it could have more dangerous consequences. Considering the results of different studies, the ability to distribute visual attention depends on different levels of expertise and environment-related constraints. This article is a narrative review of the current scientific evidence in the field of eye movements in sports, focusing on the role of microsaccades in sporting task situations. Over the past 10 years, microsaccades have become one of the most increasing areas of research in visual and oculomotor studies and even in the area of sport science. Here, we review the latest findings and discuss the relationships between microsaccades and attention, perception, and action in sports.