Morphological and physical fitness characteristics of under-16 Portuguese male handball players with different levels of practice.

Biomechanics and Functional Morphology Laboratory Neuromechanics Research Group of Human Movement (CIPER), Faculty of Human Kinetics, T echnical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal - .
The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness (Impact Factor: 0.73). 04/2013; 53(2):169-76.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Aim: The aim of this study was to compare the morphology and physical fitness of 104 under-16 male handball athletes with different competitive levels in function of their bone maturation. Methods: Athletes were divided into two groups, 59 competed in the NL-national league, with higher competitive level (14.06±0.66 years) and 45 competed in the RL-regional league (14.24±0.60 years). The morphology was evaluated by measuring body mass, height, sitting height, arm span, four lengths, four breadths, five girths and eleven skinfolds. The physical fitness assessment used eight tests (20-m shuttle run; 30-m sprint; sit-and-reach; horizontal and vertical jump with counter movement; overhead medicine ball throw-3 kg; handgrip; handball specific agility test). Bone age was determined using the TW3 method. Results: In morphological terms, NL athletes showed greater dimensions for all anthropometric variables except for hand length (transversal and longitudinal), biepicondylar femur breadth, mid-thigh girth and skinfolds. In physical fitness terms, these athletes have better results for VO2max, velocity, agility, arm strength and handgrip than athletes competing in the RL. Maturational differences explain the morphological profile superiority of NL athletes in terms of arm span, lower limb length, biacromial breadth and physical fitness profile for VO2max and arm strength. Conclusion: Maturation should be considered as a covariate when one intends to distinguish the morphological characteristics and physical fitness of under-16 athletes with different levels of practice.

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    ABSTRACT: Aim. The purpose of this study was to quantify differences in anthropometrical and physical characteristics according to playing position and competitive level in male elite handball. Methods. 176 national team and 1st division players (age 23 ±4 yr, body mass 89 ±11 kg, body height 188 ±5 cm) participated in the study. All participants were tested on throwing velocity, 20-m sprint, countermovement jump, 3000-m running, 1RM squat and bench press. Results. Back players achieved higher throwing velocities compared to other positions. National team back players achieved higher velocities in set shots (9.4 %, p<0.01, d=1.5) and jump shots (7.9 %, p<0.01, d=1.5) than 1st division players. Wings sprinted faster than pivots (3.5 %, p<0.01, d=1.2) and goalkeepers (5.4 %, p<0.01, d=1.2). Wings jumped higher than pivots (12.9 %, p<0.01, d=1.0) and goalkeepers (11.2 %, p=0.003, d=0.9). National team back players ran faster than 1st division back players over 3000m (5.0 %, p=0.011, d=0.7). Back players showed better relative strength in squat than pivots (12.1%, p=0.016, d=0.7). Wings had better relative strength in squat that pivots (17.4%, p=0.001, d=1.0) and goalkeepers (13.1%, p=0.016, d=0.8). Pivots were 8.9 % stronger than wing players (p=0.044, d=0.7) in 1RM bench press. Conclusion. Varying on-court demands in handball are reflected by different physical and physiological characteristics across playing standard and positions. Physical conditioning of players should therefore be individualized and targeted to solve the position-dependent tasks during play.
    The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness 11/2014; · 0.73 Impact Factor