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Ward, Hayden
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Common Risks and Injuries of Indoor Arena Athletes

Indoor basketball court

Did you know that the surface athletes compete and practice on can significantly influence injury rates and overall wellbeing for both individuals and teams? As we approach the season for indoor sports (e.g., basketball, volleyball, indoor track and field), it’s wise to understand the impact harder surfaces can have on injuries and health concerns.

Premises Liability Exposures

Due to the large number of visitors and the intense emotions that can arise between rival teams and fans during sporting events, there’s a high risk of exposure to your athletes and staff. Good housekeeping is critical to preventing trips, slips and falls, and the spread of easily transmissible diseases. Floor coverings must be in good condition. Adequate lighting and marking of exits and egress are mandatory.

Sound levels are also crucial for limiting injuries among playing athletes. Music played at high decibels can result in permanent damage to hearing and result in a distraction to the players. Decibel levels should always be monitored.

One of the most important risks of indoor arenas is the flooring. Each time an athlete's foot hits the court or track, it should slightly spring, absorbing some of the shock. Orthopedic surfaces can help reduce injuries, however proper cleaning and maintenance must be in order. Common indoor surfaces include wood and synthetic courts, smooth concrete and rubberized tracks.

Common Indoor Arena Injuries

While any sport comes with its own set of risks and injuries, such as running into another player, falling or landing wrong, there are a few common ones that are seen among athletes who play on other surfaces than turf or grass. According to a NCAA track and field study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, the overall injury rate was 16% higher during the indoor season when compared to the outdoor season. Most injuries are difficult to prevent as they’re accidental and acute, however, you can account for injuries that are more frequent on hardwood courts or tracks.

The shock incurred by landing on hard surfaces can lead to stress fractures, weak joints and torn ligaments. Volleyball and basketball players can easily pick up a stress fracture from the amount of jumping they’re doing on a hard surface. Another common injury seen among indoor athletes is ankle sprains. This pain can be triggered by stepping on a competitor's foot or lateral movements, resulting in weakness in the ankle.

The heel is a popular injury site seen among indoor court and track athletes. With the shocks from the floor causing the fascia to tear from the heel, it can lead to bone spurs or plantar fascia. Pain in the heel can take time to overcome and it can easily return if the athlete doesn’t immediately take preventative measures.

Long-term Effects for Indoor-Arena Playing Athletes

Like all sports, engaging in indoor activities poses long-term health risks and potential disorders. Common disorders include osteoarthritis, joint pain, chronic illness and other physical problems. Additionally, there is the concern of enduring anxiety stemming from the long-term repercussions of sports-related injuries.

Many athletes will downplay the severity of their injuries to get back into the game quicker. Doing so can result in delayed medical treatment, spiraling into worse conditions that can hinder them for the rest of their lives. If one of your student-athletes endures an injury while playing, such as a concussion, you will need to be able to quickly make decisions about treatment and care plans. With the NCAA offering 2 years of post-eligibility injury insurance coverage beginning in 2024 to all athletes, it’s best to handle injuries head-on and immediately, before they spiral into larger issues later.

According to a recent study published in the Nutrients Journal, college athletes who specifically play indoor sports can be vitamin D deficient resulting in a greater risk of injury. As stated by MayoClinic.org, Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of strong, healthy bones. Its absence can result in weakened, thin, and brittle bones, potentially leading to long-term conditions such as osteoporosis and certain types of cancer in the future.

Own the Court With CBIZ Borden Perlman Sports

Indoor sports come with their own set of injuries and exposures. We’re here to provide you and your teams with ongoing support throughout life and on the court, ensuring a healthy and sustainable athletic journey. It’s crucial to purchase coverage that doesn’t exclude major injuries or head traumas. To learn more about how CBIZ Borden Perlman Sports can protect your teams, connect with us today.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. In an actual claim situation, coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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CBIZ Borden Perlman Sports, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc., is one of the largest insurers of collegiate athletic programs in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange-traded company (CBZ), we developed a program to meet the needs for those in the athletic sports industry. We have been in the intercollegiate sports industry since 1990.

The CBIZ Borden Perlman Sports team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to intercollegiate insurance. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication and a claims team that is ready to respond to your needs. As specialists in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure your teams are superiorly protected.

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