Dancers have a lower incidence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury compared to athletes in sports that involve cutting and landing motions. Balance can impact ACL injury risk and is related to neuromuscular control during movement. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether balance differences exist among female dancers and female soccer and basketball athletes. Fifty-eight female dancers, soccer, and basketball athletes (16.5 +/- 1.6 yrs, 1.6 +/- 0.2 m, 60.2 +/- 14.1 kg) completed the Stability Evaluation Test (SET) on the NeuroCom VSR Sport (NeuroCom International, Clackamas, OR) to measure sway velocity. Video records of the SET test were used for Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) test scoring. A oneway ANCOVA compared composite sway velocity and BESS scores among sports. There was no statistically significant difference for sway velocity or BESS among sports (sway velocity soccer 2.3 +/- 0.4, dance 2.2 +/- 0.4, and basketball 2.4 +/- 0.4; BESS soccer 13.6 +/- 5.0, dance 11.9 +/- 5.5, and basketball 14.9 +/- 5.1, p>0.05). Balance was similar among athletes participating in different sports (dance, basketball, and soccer). Quasi-static balance may not play a significant role in neuromuscular control during movement and not be a significant risk factor to explain the disparity in ACL injury incidence among sports. Future research should examine the effects of dynamic balance and limb asymmetries among sports to elucidate on the existing differences on ACL injury incidence rates.
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