The Effect of a Simulated Basketball Game on Players’ Sprint and Jump Performance, Temperature and Muscle Damage

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Despite extensive data regarding the demands of playing basketball, the relative importance of factors that cause fatigue and muscle potentiation has been explored only tentatively and remains unclear. The aim of this experimental field study was to assess changes in leg muscle power and relate these changes to body temperature modifications and indices of exercise-induced muscle damage in response to a simulated basketball game. College-level male basketball players (n=10) were divided into two teams to play a simulated basketball game. Ten-meter sprint and vertical counter-movement jump tests, core body temperature and creatine-kinase activity were measured within 48 h after the game. The participants’ body temperatures increased after a warm-up (1.9%, p<0.05), continued to increase throughout the game, and reached 39.4 ± 0.4°C after the fourth quarter (p<0.05). The increase in temperature during the warm-up was accompanied by an improvement in the 10-meter sprint time (5.5%, p<0.05) and jump height (3.8%, p<0.05). The players were able to maintain leg power up to the fourth quarter, i.e., during the major part of the basketball game. There was a significant increase in creatine-kinase at 24 h (>200%, p<0.05) and 48 h (>30%, p<0.05) after the game, indicating damage to the players’ muscles. The basketball players’ sprint and jump performance appear to be at least in part associated with body temperature changes, which might contribute to counteract fatigue during the larger part of a basketball game.

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