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J Sports Sci. 2009 Jan 15;27(2):151-7. doi: 10.1080/02640410802448731.

Anthropometric, physiological and performance characteristics of elite team-handball players.

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Scientific Research Unit, Evaluation, Sport, Health, National Centre of Medicine and Science in Sports, Tunis, Tunisia.


The objective of this study was to provide anthropometric, physiological, and performance characteristics of an elite international handball team. Twenty-one elite handball players were tested and categorized according to their playing positions (goalkeepers, backs, pivots, and wings). Testing consisted of anthropometric and physiological measures of height, body mass, percentage body fat and endurance (VO(2max)), performance measures of speed (5, 10, and 30 m), strength (bench press and squat), unilateral and bilateral horizontal jumping ability, and a 5-jump horizontal test. Significant differences were found between player positions for some anthropometric characteristics (height and percentage body fat) but not for the physiological or performance characteristics. Strong correlations were noted between single leg horizontal jumping distances with 5-, 10-, and 30-m sprint times (r = 0.51-0.80; P < 0.01). The best predictors of sprint times were single leg horizontal jumping with the dominant leg and the distance measured for the 5-jump test, which when combined accounted for 72% of the common variance associated with sprint ability. In conclusion, performance abilities between positions in elite team-handball players appear to be very similar. Single leg horizontal jumping distance could be a specific standardized test for predicting sprinting ability in elite handball players.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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