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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 July-August;57(7-8):985-92

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.06938-9


language: English

Differences in anthropometric characteristics in relation to throwing velocity and competitive level in professional male team handball: a tool for talent profiling

Georg FIESELER 1, Souhail HERMASSI 2, Birgit HOFFMEYER 3, Stephan SCHULZE 4, Lars IRLENBUSCH 4, Thomas BARTELS 5, Karl-Stefan DELANK 4, Kevin G. LAUDNER 6, René SCHWESIG 4

1 Division for Shoulder Surgery and Sports Medicine, Helios Clinic, Warburg, Germany; 2 Research Unit, Sport Performance and Health, Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education, Ksar Saîd, University of “La Manouba,” Tunis, Tunisia; 3 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Otto von Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany; 4 Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg, Germany; 5 Sports Clinic Halle, Center of Joint Surgery, Halle, Germany; 6 School of Kinesiology and Recreation, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA


BACKGROUND: The primary aim of the study was to examine the anthropometric characteristics as well as throwing and sprinting performance of professional handball players classified by playing position and competition level.
METHODS: 21 male players (age: 25.2±5.1 years) from the first German handball league (FGL) and 34 male players (age: 26.1±4.1 years) from the third German handball league (TGL) were categorized as backs, pivots, wings and goalkeepers. Measurements included anthropometric data (height, mass and body mass index (BMI)), throwing and sprinting performance selected out of a complex handball test (HBCT), which was conducted twice (2 rounds). During the HBCT, the subjects performed two sprints (10, 20 m), two standing throws with run-up (ST) and four vertical jump throws (VJT) over a hurdle (20 cm) with and without precision for goal shot.
RESULTS: The anthropometric data revealed a significantly (P=0.038 and η2=0.079) shorter body height for TGL than for FGL players. In the cohort of first league athletes the pivots were the tallest (1.98±0.04 m), backs in the third league showed the maximum body height (1.90±0.05 m). Regarding body mass, pivots were the heaviest players independent from the league membership. The FGL players showed a significantly (P<0.05 and η2>0.10) higher throwing velocity in all type of throws. Body height was significantly related to ST (r=0.53) and VJT (r=0.52) in the first round of HBCT but only for the FGL athletes. Throwing velocity was also correlated with BMI (r=-0.50) among the TGL players.
CONCLUSIONS: Substantial differences of body characteristics, throwing and sprinting performance between playing positions and competitive levels underline the importance of a careful scouting and position-specific training for professional handball players.

KEY WORDS: Team handball - Throwing velocity - Playing position - Competitive level

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