Causes and consequences of overbalance in alpine ski racing - a qualitative video analysis since 1994

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Gründe und Konsequenzen des Gleichgewichtsverlusts bei alpinen Skirennen – eine qualititative Videoanalyse seit 1994
Author:Spitzenpfeil, P.; Lipfert, S.; Gaebe, M.; Waibel, K.; Burger, S.; Hartmann, U.
Published in:Science and skiing III : Third International Congress on Skiing and Science, Snowmass, Aspen, CO, USA , March 28 - April 3, 2004
Published:Maidenhead: Meyer & Meyer Sport (Verlag), 2005, S. 195-203, Lit.
Corporate author involved:International Congress on Skiing and Science
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Compilation article
Media type: Print resource
Online Access:
Identification number:PU201203002060


A great deal of research on injury risk in elite alpine ski racers can be found throughout the last couple of decades (Crim, 2003; Ekeland et al., 1996). Next to typical injuries such as an anterior cruciate ligament (AOL), an increase in complex injuries coupled with nearby-joint fractures of the lower limb, such as tibial condyle fractures, have been observed more recently. Results on injury mechanisms or causal relationships, however, are not available at this time. The majority of previous studies have been more concerned with statistical analyses of accidents in recreational skiing or biomechanical relationships regarding ACL-injury (Greenwald et al., 1997; Pecina et al., 2002). Extensive multidisciplinary studies on complex knee joint injuries including nearby-joint fractures are absent so far. To get an insight into typical basic mechanisms of overbalance situations in alpine ski racing, a first investigation was published in 1997 (Spitzenpfeil et al., 1997). The purpose of that investigation was to register and analyze not only crashes, but every overbalance situation during elite alpine ski races. For that, a scheme of overbalance categories with their causes and consequences were developed. This current study compared overbalance situations in elite alpine ski races observed for the winter seasons 1999/2000 with 2002/2003 as well as with those observed in 1997. The primary aim was to facilitate a better understanding of the variety of factors influencing instability in elite alpine ski racing. The study was also conducted to create a basic instrument for further extensive analyses of seasons between 1994 and 2003 as well as for interdisciplinary approaches. An example of using this basic instrument; namely, results of a study on typical injury mechanisms to the ACL, are also includes in this paper. To gain insight into overbalance situations, commonly considered causes for ACL-injury, the above mentioned video analysis was used. The approach of this work was to facilitate one possible explanation for gender disparity in skiing and ACL injury. Einleitung gekürzt