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  • Due to the nature of their sports, soccer and lacrosse athletes are at risk for repeated head impacts.
  • Repeated head impacts may influence the athletes’ vestibular function, cognitive function, or athletic performance.


  • Determine if athletes are fully participating in practices and games with vestibular, cognitive, or athletic performance abnormalities .


  • 30 student athletes from Concordia University in St. Paul, MN

Tests Performed

  • Instrumented Dynamic Visual Acuity (iDVA)
  • Clinical Dynamic Visual Acuity (cDVA)
  • Trail Making Test A & B (TMT A/B)
  • Near Point Convergence (NPC)
  • Performance Tests: T Test Agility Drill, 40 yard dash (with and without head turns)


  • 15/30 participants tested abnormally on an administered test.
  • The TMT A/B and T test agility drill showed no significant difference compared to published norms and between groups (athletes with normal vs. abnormal vestibular tests)
  • The 40 yard dash results showed no significant differences between athletes with normal vs. abnormal vestibular tests.


  • Half of the participants demonstrated abnormal vestibular tests yet are still fully participating in their sport.
  • Despite high numbers of abnormal vestibular tests, the presumed dysfunctions did not impact physical performance as measured in this study.
  • Absence of concussion diagnosis does not discount abnormal vestibular, cognitive, or athletic performance.

Clinical Relevance to Physical Therapy Profession and Practice

  • More research is necessary to find a method to properly stress the vestibular system during athletically simulated activities in high level athletes.
  • Our results may influence screening and return to play guidelines.
  • Standardized norms for certain vestibular, oculomotor, and cognitive tests need to be adjusted to reflect the ability of high level athletes.



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