Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2020) 19, 256 - 263

Research article
Differences in Physical Demands between Game Quarters and Playing Positions on Professional Basketball Players during Official Competition
Franc García1, , Jairo Vázquez-Guerrero1, Julen Castellano2, Martí Casals3,4, Xavi Schelling5
Author Information
1 Sport Performance Area, Futbol Club Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
2 Basque Country University, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
3 Medical Department, Futbol Club Barcelona, Barça Innovation Hub, Barcelona, Spain
4 Sport and Physical Activity Studies Centre (CEEAF), University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia, Spain
5 Institute for Health and Sport (iHeS), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

Franc García
✉ Sport Performance Area, Futbol Club Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Publish Date
Received: 17-01-2020
Accepted: 05-02-2020
Published (online): 01-05-2020
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The purpose of this study was to compare physical demands between game quarters and specific playing positions during official basketball competition. Thirteen professional male basketball players from the Spanish 2nd Division were monitored across all 17 regular-season home games. Physical demands were analyzed using a local positioning system (WIMU PRO™, Realtrack Systems S.L., Almería, Spain) and included peak velocity, total distance covered, high-speed running (>18 km·h-1), player load, jumps (>3G), impacts (>8G) and high-intensity accelerations (≥2 m·s-2) and decelerations (≤-2 m·s-2). A linear mixed model was used to test statistical significance (p < 0.05) between independent variables. Furthermore, standardized Cohen’s effect size (ES) and respective 90% confidence intervals were also calculated. There was an overall decrease in all variables between the first and fourth quarter during competition. Specifically, total distance covered (p < 0.001; ES = -1.31) and player load (p < 0.001; ES = -1.27) showed large effects between the first and last period. Regarding differences between positions, guards presented significant increased values compared to centers (p = 0.04; ES = 0.51), whereas centers achieved significant larger results and moderate effects in comparison to guards in peak velocity (p = 0.01; ES = 0.88) and jumps (p = 0.04; ES = 0.86). In conclusion, physical demands vary between game quarters and playing positions during official competition and these differences should be considered when designing training drills to optimize game performance.

Key words: Acceleration, Game Analysis, Team Sport, Performance

           Key Points
  • The highest basketball-specific tasks should include an adequate work-to-rest ratio, namely playing small-sided games or 5 on 5 with a specific official competition density between 1:0.7 and 1:1.4.
  • Players should work on their position-specific requirements, especially during off-season and after having accumulated little playing time during competition. For instance:
  • Centers should stress more both jumping and contact actions (e.g. pushing and holding) using small-sided games such as 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 situations with the goal of shooting or rebounding.
  • Guards should focus more on short and intermittent high-intensity movements, such as defensive shuffle and changes of directions.
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