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Basketball Injury Prevention

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 481,000 basketball-related injuries were treated in hospitals, doctors' offices, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, and hospital emergency rooms in 2007.

  • Outdoor courts should be free of rocks, holes, and other hazards. Inside courts should be clean, free of debris, and have good traction.
  • When playing outside, environmental conditions must be considered. Players should avoid playing in extreme weather or on courts that are not properly lighted in the evening.
  • Baskets and boundary lines should not be too close to walls, bleachers, water fountains, or other structures. Goals, as well as the walls behind them, should be padded.



  • Always take time to warm up and stretch. Research studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warm up with jumping jacks, stationary cycling or running or walking in place for 3 to 5 minutes. Then slowly and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Be knowledgeable about first aid and be able to administer it for minor injuries, such as facial cuts, bruises, or minor tendonitis, strains, or sprains.
  • Be prepared for emergency situations and have a plan to reach medical personnel to treat injuries such as concussions, dislocations, elbow contusions, wrist or finger sprains, and fractures.


Dress Appropriately

  • Select basketball shoes that fit snugly, offer support, and are non-skid.
  • Cotton socks can absorb perspiration and also give added support to the foot.
  • Ankle supports can reduce the incidence of ankle sprains
  • Protective knee and elbow pads will protect you from bruises and abrasions.
  • Use a mouth guard to protect your teeth and mouth.
  • If you wear glasses, use safety glasses or glass guards protect your eyes.
  • Do not wear jewelry or chew gum during practice or games.


Focus on Technique

  • Play only your position and know where other players are on the court to reduce the chance of collisions.
  • Don't hold, block, push, charge, or trip opponents.
  • Use proper techniques for passing and scoring.


Information provided by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons