Ferioli D1,2, Rampinini E2, Martin M2, Rucco D1, La Torre A1, Petway A3, Scanlan A4.

1, Department of Biomedical Science for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy; 2, Human Performance Laboratory, Mapei Sport Research Centre, Olgiate Olona, VA, Italy; 3, Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 4, Human Exercise and Training Laboratory, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia


Understanding the game demands encountered in basketball provides useful insight for developing specific, individualized and team-based training sessions. This study quantified and compared the game activity demands encountered by basketball players of different playing positions: i) strictly when in possession of the ball and ii) overall during live playing time (irrespective of ball possession). The activity demands encountered by 44 (22 guards, 14 forwards, 8 centres) adult, professional, male basketball players were assessed across 10 official games. Time-motion analysis was used to determine the frequency and proportion (%) of playing time performing recovery (REC), low- (LIA), moderate- (MIA), and high- (HIA) intensity activities. Linear mixed models were constructed to examine differences in dependent variables between playing positions, accounting for repeated measures. Guards, forwards, and centres spent 11.9±5.9%, 3.5±1.3%, and 2.9±1.1% of live playing time in possession of the ball, respectively. Guards performed more activities at all intensities (total movements, REC, LIA, MIA, and HIA) than forwards (P < 0.05) and centres (P < 0.05) when in possession of the ball. The proportion of time spent performing HIA in possession of the ball was greater for forwards (P = 0.001) and centres (P = 0.001) than guards. During live playing time overall across games, centres performed more HIA per minute (P = 0.049) and spent a greater proportion of time performing HIA (P = 0.047) than guards. Activities performed when in possession of the ball and during live playing time across basketball games are affected by playing position. These data highlight the need to develop position-specific training drills, particularly with ball possession.

Biol. Sport. 2020 Jun;

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5114/biolsport.2020.95638