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J Sci Med Sport. 2012 Mar;15(2):110-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2011.08.005. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

Injury risk associated with ground hardness in junior cricket.

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School of Human Movement and Sport Sciences, University of Ballarat, Australia.



To establish if there is an association between ground hardness and injury risk in junior cricket.


Nested case-series of players who played matches on specific grounds with objective ground hardness measures, within a prospective cohort study of junior community club cricket players.


Monitoring of injuries and playing exposure occurred during 434 matches over the 2007/2008 playing season. Objective assessment of the hardness of 38 grounds was undertaken using a Clegg hammer at 13 sites on 19 different junior cricket grounds on the match eve across the season. Hardness readings were classified from unacceptably low (<30 g) to unacceptably high (>120 g) and two independent raters assessed the likelihood of each injury being related to ground hardness. Injuries sustained on tested grounds were related to the ground hardness measures.


Overall, 31 match injuries were reported; 6.5% were rated as likely to be related to ground hardness, 16.1% as possibly related and 74.2% as unlikely to be related and 3.2% unknown. The two injuries likely to be related to ground hardness were sustained whilst diving to catch a ball resulting, in a graze/laceration from contact with hard ground. Overall, 31/38 (82%) ground assessments were rated as having 'unacceptably high' hardness and all others as 'high/normal' hardness. Only one injury occurred on an objectively tested ground.


It remains unclear if ground hardness is a contributing factor to the most common injury mechanism of being struck by the ball, and needs to be confirmed in future larger-scale studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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