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Game-scoring coordination in handball according to situational variables using time series analysis methods

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This study analysed the game-scoring coordination in men's Spanish Handball League when controlling for quality of opposition, game location, game period and their potential interactive effects. The sample was composed of 142 close games (final goal difference ≤ 5). The scoring processes of the teams throughout the game formed the time series that constituted the basis for subsequent analysis. Different methods of time series analysis were used (i.e. autocorrelation, cross-correlation, moving averages, Hilbert transform). The scoring processes of the teams presented a high consistency across all the games as well as strong inphase modes of coordination in all the game contexts. The only differences were found in relation to the game period. The results showed an increasing game-scoring coordination behaviour as the game unfolded. In particular, the game-scoring coordination was significantly lower for the 1st and 2nd game periods (i.e. 0–10 min and 10–20 min) compared to all the other. This suggests that the first 20 min are those that break the game-scoring. The concept of co-adaptation and the gradual familiarisation between players and teams as the game progresses might contribute to explain these findings. Training aspects should focus particularly on preparing the initial 20 min of the games, creating specific practice tasks.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2016

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