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Ilias Zapartidis, Panagiotis Kororos, Triantafyllos Christodoulidis, Dimitrios Skoufas and Ioannis Bayios

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.

Open access

Tomasz Sacewicz, Sławomir Bodasiński, Marcin Śliwa, Paulina Szyszka, Zenon Mazur and Adam Czaplicki


Introduction. The aim of the study was to determine the torque of the knee extensors and flexors of the lead lower limb, the torque of the shoulder extensors and flexors of the dominant upper limb, and the torque generated by the muscles of the kinematic chain going from the trail lower limb to the hand of the dominant limb in male handball players during the annual training macrocycle. Changes in jump height and throwing velocity were also investigated. Material and methods. The study involved 13 handball players from a Polish second-league team. The measurements were performed four times: at the beginning of the preparation period, at the beginning of the season, at the end of the first part of the season, and at the end of the second part of the season. Torque was measured in isokinetic and isometric conditions. Jumping ability was tested using a piezoelectric platform, and throwing velocity was measured with a speed radar gun. Results. The study found statistically significant differences between the relative torque values of the knee extensors (p < 0.002) and flexors (p < 0.003) of the lead leg measured in isokinetic conditions between the first three measurements and the final one. Isokinetic measurement of the torque of the muscles of the kinematic chain going from the trail leg to the hand of the dominant arm decreased in a statistically significant way at the end of the season. As for the results of the measurement of the torque of the shoulder extensors and flexors in static conditions, no statistically significant differences were observed between the four measurements. However, statistically significant differences were noted in jumping ability and throwing velocity in the annual training macrocycle. Conclusions. The results of the study indicate that there is a need to perform regular assessments of players’ strength and jumping ability during the competition period. There is a need to modify the training methods used during the preparation period and in the second part of the season as well as to individualise training at the end of the competition period.

Open access

Mário Marques, Francisco Saavedra, Catarina Abrantes and Felipe Aidar

Associations Between Rate of Force Development Metrics and Throwing Velocity in Elite Team Handball Players: a Short Research Report

Performance assessment has become an invaluable component of monitoring participant's development in distinct sports, yet limited and contradictory data are available in trained subjects. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between ball throwing velocity during a 3-step running throw in elite team handball players and selected measures of rate of force development like force, power, velocity, and bar displacement during a concentric only bench press exercise in elite male handball players. Fitteen elite senior male team handball players volunteered to participate. Each volunteer had power and bar velocity measured during a concentric only bench press test with 25, 35, and 45 kg as well as having one-repetition maximum strength determined. Ball throwing velocity was evaluated with a standard 3-step running throw using a radar gun. The results of this study indicated significant associations between ball velocity and time at maximum rate of force development (0, 66; p<0.05) and rate of force development at peak force (0, 56; p<0.05) only with 25kg load. The current research indicated that ball velocity was only median associated with maximum rate of force development with light loads. A training regimen designed to improve ball-throwing velocity in elite male team handball players should emphasize bench press movement using light loads.

Open access

Nicolas Olivier and Frédéric N. Daussin


Swimming and throwing are involved in water-polo player performance. These movements have a common biomechanical basis in the use of the internal shoulder rotation and adductor muscles. The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationship between shoulder isokinetic evaluation and throwing velocity as well as swimming performance in female water-polo players. Fifteen high level water-polo players completed two isokinetic shoulder evaluations to determine peak torque of shoulder rotators of the dominant shoulder (concentric and eccentric movements at an angular velocity of 60°·s-1 and concentric movements at an angular velocity of 240°·s-1) and shoulder extensors of both arms (concentric movements at an angular velocity of 60°·s-1 and 240°·s-1). Throwing velocity was measured using a radar gun placed 5 m behind the goal post. Front crawl swimming velocity was determined at 25 m, 100 m and 400 m distances. Concentric peak torque at 60°·s-1 and 240°·s-1 of internal rotators and eccentric peak torque at 60°·s-1 of external rotators were predictors of throwing velocity. The best model to explain the relationship between isokinetic evaluations and throwing velocity was obtained with concentric IR peak torque at 60°·s-1 and eccentric ER peak torque at 60°·s-1 (r2 = 0.52, p = 0.012). Relative total work done and peak torque of shoulder extensors were predictors of 25 m swimming velocity. Shoulder isokinetic evaluations correlate significantly with swimming performance and throwing velocity of female water-polo players. The results may help coaches to develop new strategies such as eccentric dry land training programs to increase both shoulder external rotators strength and throwing velocity.

Open access

Michal Spieszny and Mateusz Zubik


A high level of muscle power is necessary for the effective use of technique during handball competitions. The presented research concentrated on comparing the effectiveness of two training modes directed towards the development of muscle power – plyometric and traditional strength training. Furthermore, we evaluated whether resistance training performed twice a week was sufficient to guarantee an increase in muscle power of handball players. We also investigated whether strength training designed according to the “waving” model (one training session per week oriented towards the development of maximal strength and one towards the development of power) was sufficient to increase muscle power in handball players. The study included 28 professional handball players who were divided into 3 groups: Group 1 subjected to additional strength training (8 individuals), Group 2 subjected to traditional plyometric training (8 individuals) and Group 3 following standard training (12 individuals). Research was conducted at the beginning and at the end of the 1st round of competitions and consisted of the following measurements: CMJ (countermovement jump) and SJ (squat jump), a 10-s trial on a cycle-ergometer and ball-throwing velocity. Analysis of the results showed that both the plyometric and strength training programs induced a statistically significant increase in jumping height and generated power during the CMJ. The group subjected to additional strength training achieved greater increases in CMJ power than the group carrying out plyometric training, which in case of the CMJ peak power turned out to be statistically significant (p < 0.05). Different results were obtained when studying changes in the flight speed of the thrown ball; the group undergoing plyometric training registered minor increases (significant in the standing throw ), and there were decreases in the flight speed of the thrown ball (significant in the leaning back throw) in the group following the traditional strength training program.