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J Sci Med Sport. 2012 Jul;15(4):341-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2011.12.008. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

The physiological and activity demands experienced by Australian female basketball players during competition.

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Institute for Health and Social Science Research, CQUniversity, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.



To describe the physiological and activity demands experienced by Australian female basketball players during competition.


A between-subjects (positional comparison) repeated measures (playing periods) observational experimental design was followed.


State-level basketball players (n=12; age: 22.0±3.7 yr; body mass: 72.9±14.2 kg; stature: 174.2±6.9 cm; body fat: 17.2±5.6%; estimated V˙O(2max):43.3±5.7 ml  kg⁻¹ min⁻¹) volunteered to participate. Heart rate (HR) and blood lactate concentration ([BLa]) were collected across eight competitive matches. Overall and positional player activity demands were calculated across three matches using time-motion analysis methodology. Activity frequencies, total durations and total distances were determined for various activity categories.


Mean (±SD) HR responses of 162±3b min⁻¹ (82.4±1.3% HR(max)) and 136±6b min⁻¹ (68.6±3.1% HR(max)) were evident across live and total time during matches. A mean [BLa] of 3.7±1.4 mmol L⁻¹ was observed across competition. Player activity demands were unchanged across match periods, with 1752±186 movements performed and 5214±315 m travelled across total live match time. Furthermore, 39±3%, 52±2%, 5±1% and 4±1% of total live time was spent performing low-intensity, moderate-intensity, high-intensity and dribbling activity. Positional comparisons revealed backcourt players performed more ball dribbling (p<0.001) and less standing/walking (p<0.01) and running (p<0.05) than frontcourt players.


Together, these findings highlight the high intermittent demands and important contributions of both anaerobic and aerobic metabolic pathways during state-level female basketball competition.

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