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The central focus of the Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine is medical research on ways to reduce sports-related injuries. Research projects currently underway include:

Chest Impact Induced Arrhythmia in Youth: A Study of Causes and Preventative Measures for Young Baseball Players
Each year more than a dozen pre-teens suffer fatal arrhythmia as a result of being struck in the chest by pitched balls. This study is examining the mechanism by which arrhythmia is induced and possible equipment and rules changes to reduce the likelihood of injury.

Reducing Player Injuries Caused by Impact with Goal Cages
Collisions with heavy soccer goal cages cause more than a dozen fatal injuries among youth players each year, and scores of lesser injuries. This study performs an historical analysis of injuries and examines possible preventative measures, including the design of impact absorbing goal cages.

Cognitive Dysfunction Related to "Heading" Techniques in Soccer
This is a U.S. follow-up to a study begun in New Zealand in which improper "heading" techniques were shown to result in measurable and irreversible loss of cognitive function in youth and young adult soccer players. This study is examining the safe techniques possible for this element of soccer, possible rules changes, and the use of protective headgear for training purposes.

Improved Training and Playing Techniques in Pitching: Reducing Arm and Shoulder Injuries due to Pitching
Pitching injuries, primarily to the shoulder, elbow and wrist, are among the most common and most debilitating to players at all levels of the sport, but especially at the collegiate and professional level where pitching technique and arm/ball velocity are very high. This program examines training, warm up and pitching techniques, to be used in both the prevention and the rehabilitation of injuries most common in the sport.

Additional projects underway:

  • Follow-up studies on the effectiveness of break-away bases
  • The role of soft core baseballs in reducing injury from head impact
  • Alternative coaching techniques in football
  • The development and testing of a different type of cleated structure to reduce foot, ankle and knee injuries in football
  • A study of non-lethal projectiles used at sporting events for crowd control A surveillance study assessing the prevalence and severity of recreational basketball injuries
  • The prevention of cervical spine injuries in hockey
  • A comprehensive study of shin guards and their protective capabilities in soccer

Proposed projects for the future include:

  • Development of further protective head gear for football and biking
  • Improved surfaces for running
  • A shoulder injury prevention program


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