Wheelchair basketball and agility
Wheelchair basketball players need to have strong fundamental wheelchair skills for optimal performance. Success in wheelchair basketball is largely dependent on a player's ability to outmaneuver his/her opponent through the use of agility skills. Given that there are currently no criterion planned agility or video reactive agility tests for wheelchair basketball, further research in this area is warranted. The purpose of this series of studies was to evaluate the validity of agility tests specific to wheelchair basketball and to investigate the primary anthropometric and physiologic determinants of agility in wheelchair basketball players. Study 1 found that both the Williams Wheelchair Agility test and the Illinois Agility test demonstrated construct validity (Williams: 18.97 ± 0.53 s vs. 20.13 ± 2.22 s for elite and competitive groups, respectively, p=.048; Illinois: 26.34 ± 0.66 s vs. 27.95 ± 2.57 s for elite and competitive groups, respectively, p=.026). Study 2 found that the video reactive agility test also demonstrated construct validity and appears to be effective in detecting reactive agility in wheelchair basketball players (Elite: 7.72 ± 0.36 s vs. Competitive: 8.03 ± .38 s, p=.04). Study 3 found that 20-m straight-line sprint speed test and medicine ball toss were the strongest predictors of planned agility (Williams: R2=.75; Illinois: R2=.94). 20-m straight-line sprint speed was the strongest predictor of reactive agility (R2=.41). The strongest predictors for the 5-m straight-line speed test were the medicine ball toss and relative strength (R2=.80). The medicine ball toss was also the strongest predictor of 20-m sprint times (R2=.68). Due to the potentially significant impact agility has on performance, larger studies focusing on wheelchair basketball planned and reactive agility are warranted.