High Intensity Events in International Female Team Handball Matches

Luteberget L.S., Spencer M.

The study aimed to profile high-intensity events (HIE) in international female team handball matches, focusing on playing positions. Twenty female national team handball players wore inertial movement units (OptimEye S5, Catapult Sports, Australia) in nine official international matches. Players were categorized into four positions: backs, wings, pivots, and goalkeepers (GK). Player LoadTM, accelerations (Acc), changes of direction (CoD), decelerations (Dec), and the sum of these, HIE, were extracted from raw data files using the manufacturer’s software. All Acc, Dec, CoD, and HIE >2.5 m/s were included. Data were log-transformed, and differences were standardized for interpretation of magnitudes, reported with effect size (ES) statistic.

The mean number of events was 0.7 ± 0.4 Acc·min^-1, 2.3 ± 0.9 Dec·min^-1, and 1.0 ± 0.4 CoD·min^-1. Substantial differences between playing positions, ranging from small to very large, were found in these parameters. Backs exhibited a most likely greater frequency for HIE·min^-1 (5.0 ± 1.1 HIE·min^-1) compared to all other playing positions. Differences in Player Load·min^-1 were also evident between playing positions.

In conclusion, the study demonstrates that HIE in international female team handball is position-specific, and overall intensity varies based on positional roles within the team. These specific HIE and intensity profiles derived from match play offer valuable insights into understanding the overall game demands and individual playing positions.

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