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Is the ball velocity dependent on expertise? A multidimensional study in handball

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The goals of this study are to 1) compare the differences in anthropometric and physical fitness characteristics between elite and skilled players, 2) investigate these parameters and ball velocity in three conditions (standing position, with a three-step run and the difference between them) and 3) predict ball-throwing velocity. We measured general anthropometric parameters and upper-limb dynamic strength using medicine ball throwing tests. Lower-limb power, strength and reactivity were assessed using a hopping-in-place jumping test and a squat-jump test. Elite players are taller (+7.75%) and heavier (+24%) than skilled players, and have greater upper-limb strength (+23%), all p< .05. The ANOVA revealed a significant effect of expertise (p < .001) and of the type of overarm throw (p < .0001) on ball velocity, but with no interaction effect. The improvement obtained through a three-step run is 2.19 ± 0.72 m.s-1. Additionally, the best multiple regression models explained 73% of total variability including at least an isotonic test and an anthropometric variable. Finally, we validate the equations found on a 24-player independent sample (T(46)<1, n.s.) and they all are very stable whatever the sample.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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