Playing level and playing position differences of anthropometric and physical fitness characteristics in elite junior handball players

AIM: The purpose of the study was to identify the playing level (Under 16: U16, Under 18: U18 and Under 20: U20) and the playing position (Goalkeepers, Backs, Wings, Pivots, Centers) differences of elite junior handball players expressed in the anthropometric and physical fitness characteristics. METHODS: The anthropometric characteristics of body height, arm span, hand length, hand width, body mass, adipose tissue percentage, somatotype components and the physical fitness characteristics of ball throwing velocity, sprinting time, standing long jump, aerobic capacity, lower back and hamstring flexibility were measured in a total of sixty (60) handball players all members of the Greek Junior National Teams. RESULTS: There were significant (P=0.05) differences among playing levels regarding hand length, hand width, ball velocity (U18>U16), body mass, ball velocity and standing long jump (U20>U16). Significant differences among playing positions (P=0.05) were found for body height (Backs>Wings and Centres, Pivots>Wings), arm span (Goalkeepers and Backs>Wings), body mass (Pivots>Wings and Centres) and 5 m sprint time (Pivots>Centres). CONCLUSION: The anthropometric differences among playing positions may indicate the advantageous characteristics that the respective position demands, whereas the absence of playing position differences in physical fitness characteristics may indicate training specificity issues that must be addressed cautiously. The anthropometric and physical fitness differences between playing levels may be attributed to developmental maturation and the progressive increase of training intensity.
© Copyright 2014 The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. Edizioni Minerva Medica. All rights reserved.

Subjects: juniors junior elite sport handball performance performance capacity anthropometry constitution playing position (sport games)
Notations: sport games junior sports
Published in: The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Published: 2014
Volume: 54
Issue: 5
Pages: 611-621
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced