The physiological and activity demands experienced by Australian female basketball players during competition

Aaron T. Scanlan*, Ben J. Dascombe, Peter Reaburn, Vincent J. Dalbo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To describe the physiological and activity demands experienced by Australian female basketball players during competition. Design: A between-subjects (positional comparison) repeated measures (playing periods) observational experimental design was followed. Methods: State-level basketball players (. n=. 12; age: 22.0. ±. 3.7. yr; body mass: 72.9. ±. 14.2. kg; stature: 174.2. ±. 6.9. cm; body fat: 17.2. ±. 5.6%; estimated V̇O2max:43.3 + 5.7 ml kg-1 min-1) volunteered to participate. Heart rate (HR) and blood lactate concentration ([BLa]) were collected across eight competitive matches. Overall and positional player activity demands were calculated across three matches using time-motion analysis methodology. Activity frequencies, total durations and total distances were determined for various activity categories. Results: Mean (±SD) HR responses of 162±3bmin -1 (82.4±1.3% HR max) and 136±6bmin -1 (68.6±3.1% HR max) were evident across live and total time during matches. A mean [BLa] of 3.7±1.4mmolL -1 was observed across competition. Player activity demands were unchanged across match periods, with 1752±186movements performed and 5214±315m travelled across total live match time. Furthermore, 39±3%, 52±2%, 5±1% and 4±1% of total live time was spent performing low-intensity, moderate-intensity, high-intensity and dribbling activity. Positional comparisons revealed backcourt players performed more ball dribbling (p<0.001) and less standing/walking (p<0.01) and running (p<0.05) than frontcourt players. Conclusions: Together, these findings highlight the high intermittent demands and important contributions of both anaerobic and aerobic metabolic pathways during state-level female basketball competition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-347
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


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