International journal of sports medicine vol:20 issue:8 pages:548-554
Forty-six male wheelchair basketball players performed a set of field tests to evaluate aerobic capacity (25 m shuttle run), anaerobic capacity (30s sprint), and six specific wheelchair basketball skills. Overall test-retest reliability (n = 20) ranged from r = 0.65 to r = 0.97. To study the validity (criterion related evidence) of the shuttle run test, heart rate (HR) was recorded for 15 subjects, who also performed a continuous, multistage arm cranking exercise until volitional fatigue. Moderate to high correlations were calculated between shuttle run distances covered (1375 243,6 m) and VO2max (2208+/-461.6 mL/min) and POmax (93.8+/-17.97 W), measured during maximal arm cranking (respectively r = 0.64 and r = 0.87). Maximal HR during shuttle run (174.9+/-16.6 B/min) and arm cranking (169+/-14.21 B/min) were correlated (r = 0.78). High correlations between shuttle run test and anaerobic field tests, however, indicate high implication of anaerobic and wheelchair maneuverability performances. The 30 s sprint test was validated (n = 15) against a Wingate Anaerobic Test (WAnT) on a roller ergometer. Comparing distance (field test: 90+/-6.7 m) with mean power output (WAnT: 852.1+/-234.9 W) the correlation was r = 0.93. Principal components factor analysis identified 'wheelchair propulsion dynamics' and 'eye-hand-coordination' as the underlying constructs of the six skill proficiency measurements, accounting for 80.1% of the variance. In conclusion, the newly developed field test battery is a reliable and valid tool for anaerobic capacity and skill proficiency assessment in wheelchair basketball players.