Ball Possession Effectiveness in Men’s Elite Floorball According to Quality of Opposition and Game Period

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The aim of the present study was to identify the importance of floorball tactical variables to predict ball possession effectiveness, when controlling quality of opposition and game periods. The sample was composed by 1500 ball possessions, corresponding to 14 games randomly selected from the International Championships played during 2008 and 2010 (World Championship, Four nations tournament and classificatory phases for World Championship) by teams from different competition levels (HIGH, INTERMEDIATE and LOW). The effects of the predictor variables on successful ball possessions according to the three game contexts (HIGH vs. HIGH; HIGH vs. LOW; LOW vs. LOW games) were analyzed using Binomial Logistic Regressions. The results showed no interaction with the game period. In HIGH vs. HIGH games, quality of opposition showed an association with ball possession effectiveness with ending zone, offensive system, possession duration, height of shooting and defensive pressures previous to the shot. In HIGH vs. LOW games the important factors were the starting zone, possession duration, defensive pressure previous to the last pass and to the shot, technique of shooting and the number players involved in each ball possession. Finally, in LOW vs. LOW games, the results emphasized the importance of starting and ending zones, the number of passes used and the technique of shooting. In conclusion, elite floorball performance is mainly affected by quality of opposition showing different game patterns in each context that should be considered by coaches when preparing practices and competitions.

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