Franc Garcia1,2, Hugo Salazar2, Jordan L. Fox3,4

1Fútbol Club Barcelona, Sports Performance Area, Barcelona, Spain
2University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Physical Activity and Sport Department, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
3Central Queensland University, School of Health, Medical, and Applied Sciences, Rockhampton, QLD, Australia
4Central Queensland University, Human Exercise and Training Laboratory, Rockhampton, QLD, Australia

Differences in the Most Demanding Scenarios of Basketball Match-Play between Game Quarters and Playing Positions in Professional Players

Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 2022, 11(1), 15-28 | DOI: 10.26773/mjssm.220302


The purpose of this study was to compare the most demanding scenarios (MDS) encountered by professional basketball players across game quarters and playing positions during official match-play. Ten professional bas- ketball players were monitored during 11 matches using a local positioning system. Peak physical demands were measured via total distance, distance >18 and >21 km·h -1 , number of sprints >18 and >21 km·h -1 , and number of accelerations and decelerations >2 and >3 m∙s -2 captured over 30, 60, 120, 180, and 300-s rolling averages. Linear mixed models and effect sizes (ES) were used to compare MDS encountered between game quarters and playing positions. Between Quarters 1 and 2, there was a reduction in the total distance (ES = 0.64-1.39) for all playing groups along with a reduction in distance >21 km·h -1 in centres (ES = 0.77-0.81) and a reduction in accelerations and decelerations >2 m∙s -2 in guards (ES = 0.66-0.78) across longer sample periods (180-300-s). Between Quarters 1 and 4, reductions in the total distance were evident for forwards and centres (ES = 0.64-0.91) as well as distance and sprints >21 km·h -1 in centres (ES = 0.64-0.97). Regarding positional differences, guards and forwards covered a higher total distance than centres across most quarters and sample periods (ES = 0.22-1.44). Our data suggest a decrease in MDS with game progression in basketball. In addition, MDS appear to be duration-specific and posi- tion-dependent in basketball. Therefore, practitioners should consider these differences in MDS based on game quarters and positional demands to optimise individual and team performance.


team sport, local positioning system, load, player monitoring, worst-case scenarios

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