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Testing Game-Based Performance in Team-Handball

Wagner, Herbert; Orwat, Matthias; Hinz, Matthias; Pfusterschmied, Jürgen; Bacharach, David W.; von Duvillard, Serge P.; Müller, Erich

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: October 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 10 - p 2794–2801
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000580
Original Research

Wagner, H, Orwat, M, Hinz, M, Pfusterschmied, J, Bacharach, DW, von Duvillard, SP, and Müller, E. Testing game-based performance in team-handball. J Strength Cond Res 30(10): 2794–2801, 2016—Team-handball is a fast paced game of defensive and offensive action that includes specific movements of jumping, passing, throwing, checking, and screening. To date and to the best of our knowledge, a game-based performance test (GBPT) for team-handball does not exist. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop and validate such a test. Seventeen experienced team-handball players performed 2 GBPTs separated by 7 days between each test, an incremental treadmill running test, and a team-handball test game (TG) (2 × 20 minutes). Peak oxygen uptake (V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak), blood lactate concentration (BLC), heart rate (HR), sprinting time, time of offensive and defensive actions as well as running intensities, ball velocity, and jump height were measured in the game-based test. Reliability of the tests was calculated using an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Additionally, we measured V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak in the incremental treadmill running test and BLC, HR, and running intensities in the team-handball TG to determine the validity of the GBPT. For the test-retest reliability, we found an ICC >0.70 for the peak BLC and HR, mean offense and defense time, as well as ball velocity that yielded an ICC >0.90 for the V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak in the GBPT. Percent walking and standing constituted 73% of total time. Moderate (18%) and high (9%) intensity running in the GBPT was similar to the team-handball TG. Our results indicated that the GBPT is a valid and reliable test to analyze team-handball performance (physiological and biomechanical variables) under conditions similar to competition.

1Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria; and

2Department of Kinesiology, Human Performance Laboratory, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota

Address correspondence to Herbert Wagner,

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.