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Open access

Javier Yanci, Asier Los Arcos, Daniel Castillo and Jesús Cámara

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to assess straight sprinting, change of direction ability and horizontal jump performance in youth runners according to age and gender. Two hundred and fifty-five youth runners (116 boys and 139 girls) participated in this study. The athletes were divided according to their age into five groups: under 8 yr (U8), under 10 yr (U10), under 12 yr (U12), under 14 yr (U14) and under 16 yr (U16). Significant differences (p < 0.01) were found between U8 and U10 in the 5 m sprint (d = 1.22), 505 agility test (505, d = 0.96), modified agility test (MAT, d = 1.43), horizontal countermovement jump (HCMJ, d = 1.06) and arm swing HCMJ (HCMJAS, d = 1.44); between U10 and U12 in the 505 (d = 0.39), MAT (d = 0.74), HCMJ (d = 0.96) and HCMJAS (d = 0.75); and between U12 and U14 in 5 m (d = 0.84), HCMJ (d = 0.88) and HCMJAS (d = 0.79). However, no significant differences (p > 0.05, d = 0.29-1.17) between U14 and U16 were observed in any of the tests. With regard to age and gender, in U8 and U10 groups there were no significant differences (p > 0.05, d = 0.02-0.76) between boys and girls in any test. However, in U12 and U14 groups, significant gender differences (p < 0.05, d = 0.85-1.24) were found in the MAT. Likewise, the boys obtained better results than girls in the horizontal jump tests (p < 0.05, d = 1.01-1.26). After the classification by age, some differences were observed between both genders, depending on the fitness variable evaluated.

Open access

Rubén Ayarra, Fabio Yuzo Nakamura, Aitor Iturricastillo, Daniel Castillo and Javier Yanci

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to describe performance in acceleration capacity, change of direction ability, vertical jump, horizontal jump, repeated sprint ability, and endurance (Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1) in futsal players, and analyze the differences according to competitive categories or levels. The total sample (n = 40) was divided into three groups depending on the category in which the participants competed: Second Division B (n = 15), Third Division (n = 12) and juniors (n = 13). All the tests were performed with participants’ regular competition shoes and on the usual playing surface, in an indoor pavilion with a floating wood floor. The results of the study did not show significant differences in acceleration capacity (5 and 15 m) or change of direction ability among the different categories. In contrast, significant differences were found among the categories with regard to horizontal jump and vertical jump capacity (p < 0.05); but not in all the variables analyzed. Performance in repeat sprint ability varied significantly among the different categories in 30 m (p < 0.01) but not in 5 m (p > 0.05). The distance covered in the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 by the Second Division B and the Third Division groups was greater than that covered by the junior group. In the light of these results repeated sprint ability and aerobic endurance could be two discriminating qualities of the competitive level among different futsal categories.

Open access

Daniel Castillo, Javier Yanci and Jesús Cámara

Abstract

The evaluation of match officials’ neuromuscular performance is now an important consideration and the vertical jump test is considered suitable for assessing lower limb power, partly because it is directly related to refereeing. The aim of this study, therefore, was to determine the effect of soccer matches on match officials’ vertical jump performance by assessing various biomechanical variables. Eighteen field referees (FRs) and 36 assistant referees (ARs) who officiated in 18 official matches participated in this study. Before the match, at half time and immediately after the match, officials performed two countermovement jumps. Flight phase time (FT), maximum force production (MFpropulsion), time to production of maximum force (TMFpropulsion), production of maximum power (MP), maximum landing force (MFlanding) and time to stabilization (TTS) were calculated for all jumps. There was a tendency for match officials’ jumping performance to improve after matches than beforehand (FR: effect size (ES) = 0.19 ± 0.36, possibly trivial; AR: ES = 0.07 ± 0.17, likely trivial). There were also likely small and very likely moderate differences between FRs’ MP in pre-match and half-time jumps (ES = 0.46 ± 0.47) and in their pre- and post-match jumps (ES = 0.71 ± 0.48). These results indicate that refereeing soccer matches does not reduce vertical jump performance; the subsequent neuromuscular fatigue is not sufficient to affect landing technique.

Open access

Aitor Iturricastillo, Cristina Granados and Javier Yanci

Abstract

The present study analyzed the changes in body composition and physical performance in wheelchair basketball (WB) players during one competitive season. Players from a WB team competing in the first division of the Spanish League (n = 8, age: 26.5 ± 2.9 years, body mass: 79.8 ± 12.6 kg, sitting height: 91.4 ± 4.4 cm) participated in this research. The upper limbs showed a decrease in subcutaneous adipose tissue and there was an improvement in physical abilities such as sprinting with the ball (5 and 20 m), handgrip and aerobic capacity. However, the changes in physical fitness concerning sprinting without the ball and agility tests were low. It would be interesting to study the effects of implementing specific programs to improve physical performance in WB and to establish more test sessions to monitor the effects of the programs followed.

Open access

Daniel Castillo, Jesús Cámara, Carlo Castagna and Javier Yanci

Abstract

The evolution of referees’ physical fitness has been studied over one or several seasons, however, the variation of the physical performance between the end of the competitive season (T1) and the start of the following pre-season (T2) has not been ascertained. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the effects of the transition period on physical performance variables (i.e. linear straight sprint, change of direction ability and endurance) in National Soccer Division referees. Forty-five Spanish referees volunteered to participate in this study. Participants were classified according to competitive status, field referees (FR, n = 23) and assistant referees (AR, n = 22). A loss of performance (p < 0.05) was observed in the 20 and 30 m linear straight sprint between T1 and T2 in both FR (1.64-1.56%, d = 0.29 to 0.32) and AR (2.01-3.41%, d = 0.33 to 0.60). In T2 the FR significantly improved the distance covered (p < 0.05, 13.11%, d = 0.39) in the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery test (YYIR1). Besides, significant differences were observed between FR and AR in the distance covered (p < 0.05, −23.55%, d = −0.97) in the YYIR1 test in T2. More research may be necessary to focus on the off-season period in order to implement specific training programs and consequently reduce the loss of sprint ability in field and assistant referees and the decrease in cardiovascular fitness in assistant referees.

Open access

Susana María Gil, Javier Yanci, Montserrat Otero, Jurgi Olasagasti, Aduna Badiola, Iraia Bidaurrazaga-Letona, Aitor Iturricastillo and Cristina Granados

Abstract

Wheelchair basketball players are classified in four classes based on the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) system of competition. Thus, the aim of the study was to ascertain if the IWBF classification, the type of injury and the wheelchair experience were related to different performance field-based tests. Thirteen basketball players undertook anthropometric measurements and performance tests (hand dynamometry, 5 m and 20 m sprints, 5 m and 20 m sprints with a ball, a T-test, a Pick-up test, a modified 10 m Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test, a maximal pass and a medicine ball throw). The IWBF class was correlated (p<0.05) to the hand dynamometry (r= 0.84), the maximal pass (r=0.67) and the medicine ball throw (r= 0.67). Whereas the years of dependence on the wheelchair were correlated to the velocity (p<0.01): 5 m (r= −0.80) and 20 m (r= −0.77) and agility tests (r= −0.77, p<0.01). Also, the 20 m sprint with a ball (r= 0.68) and the T-test (r= −0.57) correlated (p<0.05) with the experience in playing wheelchair basketball. Therefore, in this team the correlations of the performance variables differed when they were related to the disability class, the years of dependence on the wheelchair and the experience in playing wheelchair basketball. These results should be taken into account by the technical staff and coaches of the teams when assessing performance of wheelchair basketball players.