A 2D qualitative movement assessment of a deceleration task detects football players with high knee joint loading

Stefano Di Paolo, Stefano Zaffagnini, Filippo Tosarelli, Fabrizio Aggio, Laura Bragonzoni, Alberto Grassi, Francesco Della Villa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: The deceleration (pressing) is a common situational pattern leading to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in football. Although mainly assessed for performance purposes, a stronger focus on movement quality might support the screening of at-risk athletes. The aim of the present study was to describe a 2D scoring system for the assessment of the deceleration task and to associate it with the knee joint loading (knee abduction moment) evaluated through the gold standard 3D motion capture. The hypothesis was that lower 2D scores would be associated with higher knee joint loading.

METHODS: Thirty-four competitive football (soccer) players (age 22.8 ± 4.1, 16 females) performed a series of deceleration tasks. 3D motion analysis was recorded using ten stereophotogrammetric cameras, a force platform, and three high-speed cameras. The 2D qualitative assessment was performed via a scoring system based on the video analysis of frontal and lateral planes joint kinematics for five scoring criteria. The intra- and inter-rater reliabilities were calculated for each 2D scoring criteria. The peak knee abduction moment was extracted and grouped according to the results of the 2D evaluation.

RESULTS: An ICC > 0.94 was found for all the 2D scoring criteria, both for intra-rater and inter-rater reliability. The players with low 2D frontal plane scores and low total scores (0-4) showed significantly higher peak knee abduction moment values (p < 0.001). A significant negative rank correlation was found between the total score and the peak knee abduction moment (ρ = - 0.25, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: The qualitative 2D scoring system described successfully discerned between athletes with high and low knee joint loading during a deceleration task. The application of this qualitative movement assessment based on a detailed and accurate scoring system is suitable to identify players and patients with high knee joint loading (high knee abduction moments) and target additional training in the scenario of the primary and secondary ACL injury risk reduction.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4032-4040
Number of pages9
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number12
Early online dateSep 4 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • 2D video analysis
  • ACL
  • ACL injury prevention
  • Deceleration
  • Return to sport
  • Soccer


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