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Open access

Grzegorz Bednarczuk, Izabela Rutkowska and Waldemar Skowroński

Abstract

Introduction. The increased level in competition and growing interest in sports for the disabled means that the training process of these people is the subject of studies and analysis. The main objective of this study was to identify the structure of the training loads in athletes with visual impairments in the 800 and 1500 m runs, in relation to sports performance. Material and methods. Seven annual trainings cycles of two groups (A, n=8, B, n=5) of athletes with visual impairments (medalists and participants of the Paralympic Games, World Championships, European Championships and multiple Polish masters), engaged in the 800 and 1500 m races, from the years 1998-2000 and 2003-2008 were evaluated. To analyze and evaluate the training loads, based on training logs two methods were used: Method I - based on an analysis of training documentation developed in the Department of Theory of Sport at the University of Physical Education in Warsaw. Method II - based on an assessment of the energy cost incurred for the implementation of training. Results. The analysis showed significant differences in the training process of the athletes of the two groups. The training of athletes from group A, was carried out mainly with the directed training method (61% of total load - TL) with low intensity - range 1 on a 5 point scale (74% TL), while group B - with special training method (76% TL) in second (2) range of intensity (71% TL). Conclusions. Training carried out by athletes from group B better reflects the specifications of middle distance runs, in comparison with group A, which could lead to a higher level of performance presented by the athletes of group B.

Open access

Natalia Morgulec-Adamowicz, Andrzej Kosmol, Magdalena Bogdan, Bartosz Molik, Izabela Rutkowska and Grzegorz Bednarczuk

Game Efficiency of Wheelchair Rugby Athletes at the 2008 Paralympic Games with Regard to Player Classification

Purpose. The purpose of the study was to examine game efficiency of elite wheelchair rugby players in consideration of International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) classification during the 2008 Paralympic Games played according to the old wheelchair rugby rules.

Basic procedures. A group of 77 athletes representing 8 national teams participated in the study. Each team played 5 games for 32 min each. Athletes who played for more than 8 min in total at the 2008 Paralympics qualified for the study. The seven IWRF player point classes were collapsed into four groups. The game efficiency analysis was based on the IWRF Statistical Reports. The following six game efficiency parameters were analyzed: played time (T), sum of all points scored (PT), assist passes (AS), assist blocks (AB), turnovers (TO) and steals (ST).

Main findings. The major finding of the study was that most differences in PT, AS, AB, TO and ST were found among all the examined groups (I-IV), except groups I and II. The played time (T) was not sensitive enough to identify significant differences among all the groups. This indicates that played time in the context of substitutions limited by classification point requirements does not reflect the differences between player classes.

Conclusions. Generally, there was a tendency for highpoint class players to perform better. The study findings point to the importance of analysis of game efficiency of elite wheelchair rugby players with regard to their IWRF classification during tournaments played according to the new wheelchair rugby rules.

Open access

Waldemar Skowroński, Witold Winnicki, Grzegorz Bednarczuk, Izabela Rutkowska and Witold Rekowski

Abstract

Introduction. Physical fitness affects motor and intellectual development. Having a wide range of motor skills makes it possible to learn about the surrounding world and expand one’s knowledge. In the case of persons with intellectual disabilities, mastering gross and fine motor skills is the core of their development and functioning in society. The aim of the study was to analyse the relationship between physical fitness, gross and fine motor skills, and the level of functioning in schoolchildren with intellectual disabilities. Material and methods. The study involved 62 subjects whose age ranged from 9 to 24 years. Due to the large size and homogeneity of the group, the results of 26 subjects were considered in the analysis: 12 girls and 14 boys with moderate intellectual disability. Physical disability as well as gross and fine motor skills were measured with the BOT-2, TGMD- 2, and Eurofit Special tests. The level of functioning in society was assessed with a specially designed ICF-based questionnaire. Results. The study showed that girls had better motor skills than boys; this was reflected in the participants’ level of functioning as girls displayed a higher level of functioning. Boys, despite better physical fitness, were ranked on a lower level of functioning. Conclusions. A relationship was found between gross and fine motor skills and the level of functioning, assessed with BOT-2 and TGMD-2. No relationship was found between physical fitness, assessed with Eurofit Special, and the level of functioning. Instead of using assessment tools for general fitness, one should measure specific motor skills when assessing physical and motor development in children with intellectual disabilities.

Open access

Grzegorz Bednarczuk, Ida Wiszomirska, Jolanta Marszałek, Izabela Rutkowska and Waldemar Skowroński

Abstract

Introduction. In elite sport, athletes are required to maintain appropriate body posture control despite a number of destabilising factors. The functions of body posture control are monitored by the central nervous system that constantly receives information from the vestibular and somatosensory systems as well as from the visual analyser. Visual impairment may contribute to a decrease in the level of motor abilities and skills; however, it does not prevent visually impaired individuals from taking up physical activity. Therefore, this study sought to assess the static balance of visually impaired goalball players and shooters. Material and methods. The study included 37 goalball players and 20 shooters. A force platform was used to assess static balance. The study participants performed tests: standing on both feet with eyes open (BFEO) and closed (BFEC) (30 s), single left- and right-leg stance with eyes open (SLEO and SREO) as well as single left- and right-leg stance with eyes closed (SLEC and SREC). Statistical analyses were carried out using the following parameters: centre of pressure (CoP) path length [cm], CoP velocity [m/s], and the surface area of the stabilogram [cm2]. Results. No significant differences were found between goalball players and shooters in static balance levels. However, such differences were observed after taking into account the number of athletes who were capable of performing particular tests. Conclusions. The findings indirectly confirm that there is a correlation between the type of physical activity and balance levels in visually impaired individuals. Further research ought to include tests performed on an unstable surface.

Open access

Izabela Rutkowska, Grzegorz Bednarczuk, Bartosz Molik, Natalia Morgulec-Adamowicz, Jolanta Marszałek, Kalina Kaźmierska-Kowalewska and Krzysztof Koc

Abstract

The aims of this study were twofold: to assess the level of balance of people with visual impairment against the BOT-2 standard scores for the able-bodied, and to identify in which trials subjects had the greatest difficulties in maintaining balance with respect to the degree of vision loss and age categories. One hundred twenty-seven subjects with visual impairment aged 6-16 years, participated in the study (68 girls and 59 boys). The division for partially sighted people (61) and the blind (66) was made according to the WHO classification. Functional balance assessment was made using a balance subtest from the Bruininks-Oseretsky test. Significant relationships were noticed between age and the level of balance (χ2 = 8.35 p <0,05), as well as between the degree of vision loss and the level of balance (χ2 = 24.53 p <0,001). The level of balance of almost all blind subjects was below (20%) or well-below (60%) the average for the able-bodied. The subjects’ ability to maintain balance was not dependent on gender and was associated primarily with the degree of visual impairment and age. Partially sighted people had better balance than the blind and the decrease in visual acuity resulted in reduction of balance skills. The lowest level of balance was observed in blind students aged 7-11 years. Elaborating physical fitness improvement programs for children and adolescents with visual impairment, diversity of age, the degree of vision loss and limitations of ablility to maintain balance should be taken into account.

Open access

Bartosz Molik, Natalia Morgulec-Adamowicz, Andrzej Kosmol, Krzysztof Perkowski, Grzegorz Bednarczuk, Waldemar Skowroński, Miguel Angel Gomez, Krzysztof Koc, Izabela Rutkowska and Robert J Szyman

Abstract

Goalball is a Paralympic sport exclusively for athletes who are visually impaired and blind. The aims of this study were twofold: to describe game performance of elite male goalball players based upon the degree of visual impairment, and to determine if game performance was related to anthropometric characteristics of elite male goalball players. The study sample consisted of 44 male goalball athletes. A total of 38 games were recorded during the Summer Paralympic Games in London 2012. Observations were reported using the Game Efficiency Sheet for Goalball. Additional anthropometric measurements included body mass (kg), body height (cm), the arm span (cm) and length of the body in the defensive position (cm). The results differentiating both groups showed that the players with total blindness obtained higher means than the players with visual impairment for game indicators such as the sum of defense (p = 0.03) and the sum of good defense (p = 0.04). The players with visual impairment obtained higher results than those with total blindness for attack efficiency (p = 0.04), the sum of penalty defenses (p = 0.01), and fouls (p = 0.01). The study showed that athletes with blindness demonstrated higher game performance in defence. However, athletes with visual impairment presented higher efficiency in offensive actions. The analyses confirmed that body mass, body height, the arm span and length of the body in the defensive position did not differentiate players’ performance at the elite level.

Open access

Jolanta Marszalek, Bartosz Molik, Miguel Angel Gomez, Kęstutis Skučas, Judit Lencse-Mucha, Witold Rekowski, Vaida Pokvytyte, Izabela Rutkowska and Kalina Kaźmierska-Kowalewska

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate relationships between anaerobic performance, field tests, game performance and anthropometric variables of sitting volleyball players. Twenty elite Polish sitting volleyball players were tested using the 30 s Wingate Anaerobic Test for arm crank ergometer and participated in six physical field tests. Heights in position to block and to spike, as well as arm reach were measured. Players were observed during the game on the court in terms of effectiveness of the serve, block, attack, receive and defense. Pearson analysis and the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient were used. The strongest correlations were found between the chest pass test and mean power and peak power (r=.846; p=.001 and r=.708; p=.0005, respectively), and also between the T-test and peak power (r= −.718; p=.001). Mean power correlated with the 3 m test (r= −.540; p=.014), the 5 m test (r= −.592; p=.006), and the T-test (r= −.582; p=.007). Peak power correlated with the 3 m test (r= −.632; p=.003), the 5 m test (r= −.613; p=.004), speed & agility (r= −.552; p=.012) and speed & endurance (r=−.546; p=.013). Significant correlations were observed between anthropometric parameters and anaerobic performance variables (p≤.001), and also between anthropometric parameters and field tests (p≤.05). Game performance and physical fitness of sitting volleyball players depended on their anthropometric variables: reach of arms, the position to block and to spike. The chest pass test could be used as a non-laboratory field test of anaerobic performance of sitting volleyball players.