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Physiological responses and activity demands remain consistent irrespective of team size in recreational handball.

Published on Jan 30, 2020in Biology of Sport2.202
· DOI :10.5114/BIOLSPORT.2020.92516
Nenad Stojiljković9
Estimated H-index: 9
,
Aaron T. Scanlan12
Estimated H-index: 12
+ 3 AuthorsEmilija Stojanović4
Estimated H-index: 4
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the impact of team size on acute physiological, perceptual, and activity demands of recreational handball to provide a better understanding for the potential prescription of recreational handball to achieve health benefits. Active, male college students (N=22) completed 3-, 4-, and 5-a-side handball game formats across three separate sessions following a repeated-measures, crossover design. Heart rate (HR), blood lactate concentration (BLa), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), distance covered, and frequency of accelerations/decelerations were monitored during games. Each game format elicited vigorous intensities with a mean HR in the range 82-85%HRmax and post-game BLa in the range 3.9-4.4 mmol.L(-1). No significant differences (P>0.05) in absolute (etap(2)=0.40), relative mean HR (etap(2)=0.43), BLa (etap2=0.16), total distance (etap2=0.32), total accelerations (etap(2)=0.23), or total decelerations (etap2=0.23) were observed between game formats. A significant effect was observed for RPE (etap(2)=0.51), where 3-a-side games elicited a higher RPE than 5-a-side games (P=0.03, large). Modifying player number has a negligible effect on the physiological and activity demands encountered during recreational handball games. Recreational handball consisting of 3-5 players imposes similar intermittent workloads, resulting in vigorous physiological responses concomitant with those recommended for overall health improvements as part of regular training.
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