N.T. Adams, B.L. O’Malley, S.R. Crompton, C.P. Katica

Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA

Wheelchair basketball is an intense, high-paced game played at the recreational-, intercollegiate- and Paralympic-levels. Limited research has been conducted assessing tire pressures and the impact on performance and physiological measures in adapted sports. PURPOSE: The goal for this research project was to examine if heart rate or tire pressure would be a better indicator of speed during various performance tests of recreational wheelchair basketball players. METHODS: Seven (5 males and 2 females) experienced wheelchair basketball players performed a total of four trials. The first trial was a familiarization trial and the remaining three trials were the testing trials. During the testing sessions, tire pressures were set at 80, 100, or 120 psi and were conducted in a counterbalanced order. A baseline heart rate was collected before testing sessions began. After baseline measures were collected, participants underwent a 10-minute dynamic warm-up. Immediately following the warm-up, the first drill was a modified version of the 5-10-5 drill. After the completion of each performance test, time and HR were collected and each participant had a one-minute rest between performance tests. Participants then performed a modified T-drill, followed by sprinting the length of a basketball court and back (56 meters) four times. RESULTS: The omnibus, repeated-measures ANOVA did not detect differences between HR and speed for the different tire pressures (p > 0.05); however, pair-wise comparisons found differences between extremely-low pressure (80 psi) and normal pressure (120 psi) for speed in the 5-10-5 drill (80 psi = 12.69 ± 2.05 sec. vs. 120 psi = 13.06± 1.62 sec., p = 0.023), the T-drill (80 psi = 8.80 ± 1.43 sec.vs. 120 psi = 9.28 ± 1.31 sec., p = 0.015) and the down and backs (80 psi = 9.82 ± 1.68 sec. vs. 120 psi = 10.10 ± 1.61 sec., p = 0.011). In addition, a weak correlation was found between heart rate and speed; however, a slightly stronger correlation was found between PSI and speed for all performance tests. CONCLUSION: PSI and heart rate were not found to be good predictors of speed. Further studies need to be conducted to determine whether or not variable tire pressure has an effect on wheelchair basketball performance over the course of a wheelchair basketball game or tournament.

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