Head-to-head debates (45-60 minutes)

Head-to-head debates are suitable to address controversial issues, such as screening for ACL injury risk, ECG screening to detect underlying heart conditions, etc.

Title: Enough is enough – or is it? Can we stop conducting RCTs and accept we have enough evidence to fully inform sports injury prevention?

Chair: Caroline Finch (Australia)


  • Chair – Caroline Finch (Australia): Setting the scene for the debate and introduction to the debate format and speakers (5 mins)
  • Speaker for the negative – Carolyn Emery (Canada): Randomised controlled trials – the only evidence that should inform practice and policy for injury prevention in sport (10 mins).
  • Speaker for the affirmative – Ian Shrier (Canada): To truly understand prevention and its challenges, oobservation of reality is what is needed (10 mins)
  • Rebuttals – Carolyn Emery (Canada) and Ian Shrier (Canada): (3 mins each)
  • Audience discussion (10 mins)
  • Caroline Finch (Australia): Chair’s sum-up and audience voting (4 mins)

Speakers’ List:
Chair – Caroline Finch PhD Professor
Department of Sports Medicine
PO Box 2020
Sportstown, 2020 Australia

Speaker – Carolyn Emery PT PhD Professor
Department of Sports Medicine
PO Box 2020
Sportstown, 2020 Canada

Speaker – Ian Shrier MD, PhD
Department of Sports Medicine
PO Box 2020
Sportstown, 2020 Canada

Value and significance:
In sports injury prevention, there is a recognised disconnect between scientific researchers and practitioners, with the former calling for more highly robust data to underpin preventive advice, and the latter more accepting of pragmatic evidence and wanting to move forward with preventive programs. Moreover, proponents of evidence-based medicine argue that only highest-level evidence (e.g. from RCTs) should be used to guide prevention efforts. Contrasting with this, implementation science researchers argue that having evidence about the context in which preventive interventions are to be placed, and the experiences of those who need to implement such programs in the real-world is what is now needed. This debate will argue the pros and cons of both approaches, and, in doing so, will touch on the injury prevention program efficacy vs. effectiveness divide.
The debate speakers and chair, are all international experts in the design and conduct of sports injury prevention research. Each has varying experience in the conduct of formal RCTs vs the application of more observational study designs to evaluate the success of preventive programs.

all proposals MUST strictly adhere to the format specified



Must be a specific title describing the lecture content precisely (catchy)


  • Please include a neutral chair (already nominated or to be nominated)


  • Duration: 45-60 minutes
  • There should be two speakers arguing pros and cons plus a neutral chair
  • Include the title for each lecture as well as the related speaker – Duration: 10-15 minutes per lecture
  • Allocate time for Rebuttals (3-5 minutes for each speaker)
  • Allocate time for Discussion to engage the audience – Duration: 10 minutes for 45 minutes session, 15 minutes for 60 minutes session


  • Number of speakers: two speakers + one neutral chair
  • Each speaker must be listed as in the sample proposal


  • Mandatory description of the value and significance of the topic and speaker(s) to enable the scientific committee to judge the merit of the proposal
  • Length: maximum one page (accepted even if it flows over to next page)
  • No CVs or publication lists for speakers