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Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
Online ISSN 1827-1928
René SCHWESIG 1, Souhail HERMASSI 2, Georg FIESELER 3, Lars IRLENBUSCH 1, Frank NOACK 4, Karl S. DELANK 1, Roy J. SHEPHARD 5, Mohamed S. CHELLY 2
1 Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Martin Luther University, Halle- Wittenberg, Germany; 2 Research Unit, Sport Performance & Health, Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education, Ksar Saîd, University of "La Manouba," Tunis, Tunisia; 3 Center for Orthopedic Surgery (ZOC), 34346 Hann. Muenden, Germany; 4 Department of Medicine I, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany; 5 Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
BACKGROUND: The aims of the study were to examine the anthropometric and physical performance characteristics of professional handball players classified by playing position. METHODS: Twenty-one competitors (age: 25.2 ± 5.1 years) were categorized as backs, pivots, wings or goalkeepers. Measures included anthropometrics (body height and mass), scores on the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test (total distance covered, TD), Repeated-sprint ability (6 repetitions of 2 x 15-m shuttle sprints with recording of best time for a single trial, RSAbest) and performance on a complex handball test (HBKT) of throw slap (TS) and throw jump (TJ) with and without precision.
RESULTS: The anthropometric data revealed a significantly lower body height for wings and pivots than for goalkeepers. Wings, pivots and goalkeepers were significantly shorter than backs, but had a similar BMI. The TD was greater for the wings (2.400 m) than for backs (1.832 m) and pivots (2.067m). Wings also achieved a better RSAbest (5.41 s) than backs (5.68 s) or pivots (5.82 s). Body height was significantly related to throw slap (TS) and jump (JT) (r = 0.53, p<0.01; r = 0.51, p<0.01 respectively). No significant difference (p=0.675; 2=0.009) was seen between JT with precision and JT without precision.
CONCLUSIONS: Substantial differences of body build and physical performance between playing positions underline the importance of a careful assignment of such positions and the development of position-specific training for professional handball players by modifying both intermittent aerobic and anaerobic endurance components of training sessions.