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.
Results of previous studies have not indicated clearly which tests should be used to assess short-term efforts of people with intellectual disabilities. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate laboratory and field-based tests of short-term effort with maximal intensity of subjects with intellectual disabilities. Twenty four people with intellectual disability, who trained soccer, participated in this study. The 30 s Wingate test and additionally an 8 s test with maximum intensity were performed on a bicycle ergometer. The fatigue index, maximal and mean power, relative maximal and relative mean power were measured. Overall, nine field-based tests were conducted: 5, 10 and 20 m sprints, a 20 m shuttle run, a seated medicine ball throw, a bent arm hang test, a standing broad jump, sit-ups and a hand grip test. The reliability of the 30 s and 8 s Wingate tests for subjects with intellectual disability was confirmed. Significant correlation was observed for mean power between the 30 s and 8 s tests on the bicycle ergometer at a moderate level (r >0.4). Moreover, significant correlations were indicated between the results of laboratory tests and field tests, such as the 20 m sprint, the 20 m shuttle run, the standing long jump and the medicine ball throw. The strongest correlation was in the medicine ball throw. The 30 s Wingate test is a reliable test assessing maximal effort in subjects with intellectual disability. The results of this research confirmed that the 8 s test on a bicycle ergometer had a moderate correlation with the 30 s Wingate test in this population, thus, this comparison needs further investigation to examine alternativeness of the 8 s to 30 s Wingate tests. The non-laboratory tests could be used to indirectly assess performance in short-term efforts with maximal intensity.
In wheelchair sports, aerobic performance is commonly assessed with the use of an arm crank ergometer (ACE), a wheelchair ergometer (WCE) or a wheelchair treadmill (WCT). There are different protocols to identify peak oxygen uptake in wheelchair sports; however, only a few protocols have been applied to evaluate these conditions in wheelchair basketball players. The purpose of this study was to compare physiological responses during maximal exercise testing with the use of ACE and WCT in wheelchair basketball players. Twelve elite male wheelchair basketball players participated in this study. The research was performed during a training camp of the Polish National Wheelchair Basketball Team. The study participants were divided into two functional categories: A (players with class 1.0 - 2.5) and B (players with class 3.0 - 4.5). Two main maximal exercise tests, i.e. wheelchair treadmill stress test (WCT test) and arm crank ergometer stress test (ACE test) were used to evaluate aerobic performance of the players. There were no statistically significant differences in aerobic tests between the players from both groups. The comparison of results achieved in two aerobic tests performed on WCT and ACE did not reveal any significant differences between the analyzed variables (peak heart rate (HRpeak), peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), minute ventilation (VE), anaerobic threshold (AT), lactate concentration (LApeak), and a drop in lactate concentration (%LA)). Strong correlations between results achieved in WCT and ACE tests were found for VO2peak, VE and LApeak. The main conclusion of the study is that both WCT and ACE tests may be useful when determining aerobic capacity of wheelchair basketball players. Moreover, both protocols can be used by athletes regardless of their functional capabilities and types of impairment.
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.
Introduction. A review of Polish and international literature does not give a clear indication of the level of anaerobic capacity that sailors with disabilities demonstrate with regard to their functional capacities. This study sought to determine differences in functional capacity levels between sailors from three medical and functional groups. Material and methods. The research was carried out during a sports camp at the National Sailing Centre in Górki Zachodnie in 2014. Eighteen males with locomotor disabilities were included in the study. The athletes were members of the National Team of Sailors with Disabilities of the Polish Yachting Association. The sportsmen competed in the Skud 18 and 2.4mR Paralympic classes. A 30-second Wingate test for upper limbs was employed in the study. Results. Significant differences in mean power (MP) values were noted between the groups under investigation. The group of wheelchair sailors with improper core stability (A) and the group of wheelchair sailors with proper core stability (B) had significantly lower scores than the group of study participants who were able to move freely, that is to walk (C). Conclusions. The study revealed that a 30-second anaerobic capacity test performed on an arm ergometer differentiated disabled sailors from selected groups in terms of mean power. Research on anaerobic capacity may be used to verify the current classification in Paralympic sailing and will make it possible to differentiate present competition categories.
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.