Sport performance profile in men’s European handball: discriminant analysis between winners and losers

Europeans have won olympic and world gold medals since modern indoor men’ s handball became an international sport (1938) and an olympic sport (1972). The main method of objectifying the process in sports games is the use of notational analysis (O‘Donoghue, 2005). The aim of this study was to illustrate discriminate indicators of sport performance between winners and losers in European men’s modern handball match activities. The data sets gathered from the publically available EHF website ( cover the five European Men’s Handball Championships (EMHC) held in 2002–2010. Each match was classified for each team as successful (won match and draw – for both teams) and non-successful. A discriminant analysis was employed to identify a subset of game-related statistics of 28 variables that discriminated between winning and losing teams in each of the five EMHC. The indicators were compared across EMHC‘2002–2010, using a general linear model analysis of variance (ANOVA), with Tukey Post Hoc test, the ANOVA was evaluated as significant when there was a < 5% chance of making a type I error. Between 28 variables of sport performance 15 key indicators only with significant discriminant between winners and losers at least in one EMHC were considered. Winners were better (P < 0.05) than losers in 6 indicators throughout EMHC‘2002–2010. Winners scored more goals (P < 0.01), were better in efficiency of total attacks (P < 0.001) and positional attacks (P < 0.01), performed more efficiently in shooting total (P < 0.001) and shooting from long distance (P < 0.01), and goalkeepers saved more throws (P < 0.05). Findings indicate that winning and losing teams played in the same pattern. The phenomenon is that teams scored more goals in the second half than in the first. Six indicators – goals scored, efficiency of total attacks and positional attacks, efficiency of total shots, shots efficiency from long distance, and shots saved by goalkeepers – are the key indicators of discriminant winners at the EMHC’2002–2010. Performance indicators such as efficiency of individual attacks, shots from wings and 7 m penalties, and efficiency in minority might be considered as the key indicators of temporal pattern at the EMHC’2002–2010. The normative profile of winners identified can help coaches and players to create performance profiles according to team quality (O’Donoghue, 2005; Sampaio et al., 2010). Therefore, handball coaches will benefit from awareness of these results, particularly when designing game strategies and making tactical decisions.
© Copyright 2012 World Congress of Performance Analysis of Sport IX. Published by University of Worcester. All rights reserved.

Subjects: handball Europe elite sport high performance sport performance structure performance factor technique tactics playing position (sport games) statistics male
Notations: sport games
Published in: World Congress of Performance Analysis of Sport IX
Editors: D. M. Peters, P. G. O'Donoghue
Published: Worcester University of Worcester 2012
Pages: 62
Document types: congress proceedings
Language: English
Level: advanced