In handball and basketball the longer the finger length the better the accuracy of the shot or throw. All shots and throws are finished with the wrist and fingers. It can be proposed that athletes with longer fingers and greater hand surface parameters also probably have greater grip strength. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of general body and hand-specific anthropometric dimensions on handgrip strength in boys participating in hand- ball and basketball training. In total, 193 boys aged 10-17 years participated in this study. They were divided into 6 groups: 10-, 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-15-, and 16-17-year-olds. The body height and body mass were measured and body mass index was calculated as general anthropometric parameters. The outlines of the hands of the boys were drawn on paper with a thin marker. Three groups of hand anthropometric parameters were measured: 5 finger spans, 5 finger lengths, and 5 perimeters of the hand. Handgrip strength was measured on the dominant hand with a Lafayette dynamometer. As a rule, general anthropo- metric parameters determined the maximal handgrip strength more accurately than did specific hand anthropometric parameters. From the specific hand anthropometric parameters, finger lengths and perimeters of the hand significantly correlated with the maximal handgrip strength. In summary, fingers are the smallest, lightest parts of the motor apparatus, and, therefore, they represent the parts most easily deflected by force from the ball, but at the same time, finger control is especially important for the accuracy of different shots, both in handball and basketball. Thus, it is especially necessary to measure finger length and perimeters of the hand for practical reasons.
(C) 2007 National Strength and Conditioning Association