Profile of young handball players by playing position and determinants of ball throwing velocity
This study defined the differences in physical qualities and anthropometric characteristics among playing positions in young male handball players, and investigated the relationship between ball throwing velocity and all measured parameters.
182 young male handball players, aged 14.3yrs, with playing experience of 4.5yrs, were classified as: back players, centre backs, pivots, wing players, and goalkeepers. Body height, body mass, BMI, arm span, hand length, standing long jump, 30m sprint, flexibility, VO2max and throwing velocity were measured.
Significant differences were detected among individual positions for all measured variables, except for flexibility. Backs were tallest, while pivots showed the largest arm span and hand length. Wings were shortest, with the lowest weight and BMI. Backs and wings performed best in the standing long jump, 30m sprint, flexibility and VO2max. Goalkeepers underperformed in all motor abilities. Ball velocity significantly correlated to all variables except for BMI and flexibility. Anthropometric and physical differences exist among different positions in young male handball players. These parameters influence ball velocity.
The findings suggest that a high performance level requires advanced physical qualities as well as anthropometric features for these ages, and coaches should apply specific training programs for each playing position.