Injuries sustained by elite skiers and snowboarders are a growing cause for concern. Injuries cause loss of time from sport and sometimes end an athletes career prematurely. In serious cases, such as some knee or head/spine injuries, they may lead to significant disability later in life.
Unfortunately, little is known about the injury profile of skiers and snowboarders competing at the elite level. The injury risk in the various disciplines at the World Cup level is poorly documented. We do not know how and why skiing and snowboarding injuries occur, and there is limited data to suggest how injuries may be prevented.
With these questions in mind, the FIS Injury Surveillance System (FIS ISS) has been established for all the disciplines within FIS (alpine, freestyle, cross country, nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboard). Through the FIS ISS we aim to identify, describe and analyse the injury risks and injury patterns in skiing and snowboarding with a view to use this knowledge to reduce the risk of injuries among the top level athletes in the future. As a first step, we also need to check whether the data recorded by the FIS ISS is complete and accurate. For this reason two validation projects will be run in parallel during the 2006-2007 winter season.
FIS Injury Surveillance System: If an injury occurs during official training or competition at a FIS race and requires attention by medical personnel, an injury report should be completed. The FIS technical delegates are responsible for collecting the injury reports, but will enlist the help of medically trained individuals (normally, the race doctor) to complete the medical information on the form. The injury report contains information about the event, personal information, type of injury, body part injured, severity of the injury, injury circumstances, course and weather conditions and whether a video is available from the accident. The injury reports will be collected from all FIS races, although the main focus during the 2006-2007 season will be on the World Cup level. Here, injury reports should be faxed or e-mailed to the FIS administration within 3 days, for other levels it can be sent by regular mail with the other TD reports.
Validation studies: To validate the completeness and accuracy of the data collected by the FIS ISS, two additional studies will be done independently. Participation in these validation studies is voluntary and a written consent will be collected from the athletes prior to the start of the studies. The first study is a prospective registration of all injuries that happen to athletes from six selected FIS World Cup teams (Canada, Finland, France, Germany Switzerland, and Norway) during the 2006-2007 winter season.
The team physicians and physical therapists for the World Cup teams in each discipline for these six teams will be asked to document all injuries that happen to the athletes during team activities. Team activities are defines as team-based or individual training under the control or guidance of the teams coaching or fitness staff (competitions, official FIS training, other team activities on snow and basic training not on snow like weight lifting, running etc.). An injury report similar to the injury report for the FIS ISS will be used to document these injuries. These reports should be faxed/e-mailed to the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center. The second part of the validation study will be a retrospective interview with FIS World Cup athletes and coaches towards the end of the 2006/2007 season regarding injuries the skiers and snowboarders have contained during the season.
3 successful seasons with the FIS ISS (read a news letter from the FIS)