The Effects of the GAA15 on Lower Extremity Injury Incidence and Neuromuscular Functional Outcomes in Collegiate Gaelic Games.
The purpose of this Observational Analytical Cohort Study was to assess the effectiveness of an injury prevention programme (IPP) - GAA15 (Gaelic Athletic Association 15) - on the incidence of injury in collegiate Gaelic games. 131 Gaelic games players (mean age 20.5 years ± SD 3.0) were used for analysis in this study. Participants completed preseason and postseason testing which involved performance of the Y Balance test. The GAA15 was employed for the intervention group; coaches were instructed to implement the programme before every training session and match throughout the collegiate GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) season. The control group adopted their normal warm up procedures for the season. Player's injuries were documented on a weekly basis by allied health care professionals working with the teams using an online database system. Results showed significant improvements in composite Y balance scores in favour of the intervention group (Adjusted mean difference Right: 1.8 % Normalised Mean Reach Distance (%NMRD) [p= 0.007] / Left: 2.3 %NMRD [p= 0.001]). Injury rates in the intervention group (2.62 injuries per 1000h) were reduced by 66% (p=0.001) in comparison to an age matched control group (7.62 per 1000h). Training injuries, hamstring injuries, non-contact injuries and severe injuries were also reduced as a result of the implementation of the GAA15 (Injury Rate Ratio (IRR): 0.20, 0.59, 0.39, and 0.45 respectively). Implementation of an IPP such as the GAA15 can reduce the risk of injury in Gaelic games and influence player's neuromuscular performance assessed through the Y Balance test.