The influence of playing position on the biomechanical demands of netball match-play

Kim Fish, Matt Greig

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Background: Netball is an intermittent and multi-directional team sport, played on a relatively small court. Rules restrict movement of certain positions within the court, and as such each of the seven positions has a unique physical, technical and tactical remit. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of playing position on mechanical loading during netball match-play. Methods: Twenty female collegiate netball players (age = 20.1 ± 1.5 years, height 1.71 ± 0.08 m, weight = 65.02 ± 8.27 kg) were analysed over nine competitive matches. Each player wore a GPS device, with tri-axial accelerometry sampled at 100 Hz. Body load was standardised for time on court, and quantified in each movement plane. The relative contributions of each planar vector to total accumulated body load were also quantified for each position. Results: There was a significant (P<0.01) main effect for playing position on total load, with the Center exposed to the greatest load (13.7 ± 1.8 au·min-1) which was significantly higher than all other positions. The Goal Shooter was exposed to the lowest load (6.2 ± 1.4 au·min-1), significantly lower than all other positions except GK. This pattern was evident in each of the planar directions. The relative contribution of each movement plane to total body load did not vary between positions, at ~ 25:27:47 % for anterior-posterior: medio-lateral: vertical load. Conclusions: The physical and technical demands of each position altered the magnitude of mechanical loading during matchplay. The equivalence in medio-lateral and anterio-posterior loading reflects the multi-directional activity profile, with implications for injury prevention and performance enhancement
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalJournal of Athletic Enhancement
Issue number5
Early online date11 Sept 2014
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Sept 2014


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