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ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Bilateral differences in the upper quarter function of high school aged baseball and softball players.

Authors: Butler RJ, Myers HS, Black D, Kiesel KB, Plisky PJ, Moorman CT, Queen RM

The Upper Quarter Y Balance Test (YBT-UQ) was developed as a way to identify upper extremity and trunk mobility in the open kinetic chain in the reaching limb as well as midrange limitations and asymmetries of upper extremity and core stability in the closed kinetic chain on the stabilizing limb. Performance on the YBT-UQ is similar between genders and between limbs; however, this has not been examined in athletes who participate in sports that result in upper extremity asymmetries. The primary purpose of this study is to determine if differences existed on the YBT-UQ in the throwing vs. non-throwing sides of high-school baseball and softball athletes. Forty-eight male high school baseball players and seventeen female high school softball players were tested on the YBT-UQ. Reach distances were normalized to arm length (% AL). Comparisons were made between the throwing (T) and non-throwing (NT) arm for each direction as well as the composite score.  No significant differences were observed between the T and NT arm for the medial (NT: 98.4 ± 8.6 %AL, T: 99.1 ± 8.6 %AL, p=0.42), inferolateral (NT: 90.8 ± 11.8 %AL, T: 90.3 ± 11.5 %AL, p =0.61), superolateral (NT: 70.6 ± 10.9 %AL, T: 70.4 ± 11.1 % AL, p=0.91) reaches, or the composite score (NT: 87.2 ± 8.9 % AL, T: 86.6 ± 8.1 %AL, p=0.72).  Similarly, no differences were observed between the male baseball and female softball players (p=0.30-0.90). Based on these findings, it was concluded that there was no difference in performance on the YBT-UQ between throwing and non-throwing limbs in high school baseball and softball players. 

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