1Physical Activity, Physical Education, Sport and Health Research Centre, Sports Science Department, School of Social Sciences, Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland
2Faculty of Kinesiology, Split, Croatia
3Department of Sport Science and Physical Education, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway
4HBStatz Company, Reykjavik, Iceland
Performance Profiling in Handball Using Discriminative Variables and its Practical Applications
Performance profiles of teams performance highlight areas of weaknesses and strengths for coaches to inform their decision-making on how to spend their limited training time with athletes. This study used a stepwise discriminative analysis approach comparing one successful team’s (TEAM) performances through five consecutive seasons against a) other top four teams (TOP4) and b) teams with a final rank between 5th and eight (LOW) in a semi-professional league. The predictive model created was used to set forth a performance profile for the selected team. A total of 95 matches of the TEAM’s matches from the last five seasons are in the analysis. The objective was to create a performance profile with relevant performance indicators selected based on the discriminant analysis results of the selected TEAM and discuss its practical applicability. For matches against other TOP4 teams, the predictive model created consisted of three variables; legal stops, blocked shots and 9 m shots, classifying 72.6% correctly. The LOW ranked teams model had six variables and correctly classified 94.4% of cases (assists, blocked shots, legal stops, the goalkeeper saved shots, 2-minute exclusion, and shot efficiency). The selected variables are presented in Table 4, with medians and a 95% confidence interval of the median as a team performance profile. The profile provides the coaches with two models containing values that can serve as a reference for this team’s performance. The profile of this TEAM’s performances during the last five seasons generally aligns with the variables associated with success in other studies in female handball.
team performance profile, performance indicators, discriminative analysis, female handball
Araújo, D., Brito, H., & Carrilho, D. (2022). Team decision-making behavior: An ecological dynamics approach. Asian Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, S2667239122000570. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajsep.2022.09.005
Button, C., Seifert, L., Chow, J. Y., Araujo, D., & Davids, K. (2021). Dynamics of skill acquisition: An ecological dynamics approach (Second edition). Human Kinetics, Inc.
de Paula, L. V., Costa, F. E., Ferreira, R. M., Menezes, R. P., Werneck, F. Z., Coelho, E. F., & Greco, P. J. (2020). Analysis of discriminatory game variables between winners and losers in women’s handball world championships from 2007 to 2017. Kinesiology, 52(1), 54–63. https://doi.org/10.26582/k.52.1.6
Fernández-Romero, J. J., Suárez, H. V., & Cancela, J. M. (2016). Anthropometric analysis and performance characteristics to predict selection in young male and female handball players. Motriz: Revista de Educação Física, 22, 0283–0289. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1980-6574201600040011
Foretic, N., Pavlinovic, V., & Spasic, M. (2022). Differences in Specific Power Performance among Playing Positions in Top Level Female Handball. Sport Mont, 20(1), 109–113. https://doi.org/10.26773/smj.220204
García-Sánchez, C., Navarro, R. M., Karcher, C., & de la Rubia, A. (2023). Physical Demands during Official Competitions in Elite Handball: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(4), Article 4. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20043353
James, N., Mellalieu, S., & Jones, N. (2005). The development of position-specific performance indicators in professional rugby union. Journal of Sports Sciences, 23(1), 63–72. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640410410001730106
Kniubaite, A., Skarbalius, A., Clemente, F. M., & Conte, D. (2019). Quantification of external and internal match loads in elite female team handball. Biology of Sport, 36(4), 311–316. https://doi.org/10.5114/biolsport.2019.88753
Laxdal, A., & Ivarsson, A. (2023). Breaking up the play: The relationship between legal stops and winning in team handball. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 18(1), 240–244. https://doi.org/10.1177/17479541211070787
Luteberget, L. S., & Spencer, M. (2017). High-Intensity Events in International Women’s Team Handball Matches. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12(1), 56–61. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2015-0641
Mala, L., Maly, T., Zahalka, F., Bunc, V., Kaplan, A., Jebavy, R., & Tuma, M. (2015). Body Composition of Elite Female Players in Five Different Sports Games. Journal of Human Kinetics, 45(1), 207–215. https://doi.org/10.1515/hukin-2015-0021
Martin, D., Swanton, A., Bradley, J., & McGrath, D. (2018). The use, integration, and perceived value of performance analysis to professional and amateur Irish coaches. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 13(4), 520–532. https://doi.org/10.1177/1747954117753806
Michalsik, L., & Aagaard, P. (2014). Physical demands in elite team handball: Comparisons between male and female players. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 55.
Michalsik, L. B., Aagaard, P., & Madsen, K. (2015). Technical Activity Profile and Influence of Body Anthropometry on Playing Performance in Female Elite Team Handball. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 29(4), 1126. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000000735
Milanović, D., Vuleta, D., & Ohnjec, K. (2018). Performance Indicators of Winning and Defeated Female Handball Teams in Matches of the 2012 Olympic Games Tournament. Journal of Human Kinetics, 64(1), 247–253. https://doi.org/10.1515/hukin-2017-0198
Moss, S. L., McWhannell, N., Michalsik, L. B., & Twist, C. (2015). Anthropometric and physical performance characteristics of top-elite, elite and non-elite youth female team handball players. Journal of Sports Sciences, 33(17), 1780–1789. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2015.1012099
Naisidou, S., Kepesidou, M., Kontostergiou, M., & Zapartidis, I. (2017). Differences of physical abilities between successful and less successful young female athletes. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 17(01). https://doi.org/10.7752/jpes.2017.01044
O’Donoghue, P. (2009). Research Methods for Sports Performance Analysis (0 ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203878309
Pfeiffer, M., & Perl, J. (2006). Analysis of Tactical Structures in Team Handball by Means of Artificial Neural Networks. International Journal of Computer Science in Sport, 5, 4–14.
Saavedra, J. M., Halldórsson, K., Þorgeirsson, S., Einarsson, I. Þ., & Guðmundsdóttir, M. L. (2020). Prediction of Handball Players’ Performance on the Basis of Kinanthropometric Variables, Conditioning Abilities, and Handball Skills. Journal of Human Kinetics, 73(1), 229–239. https://doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2019-0147
Saavedra, J. M., Þorgeirsson, S., Chang, M., Kristjánsdóttir, H., & García-Hermoso, A. (2018). Discriminatory Power of Women’s Handball Game-Related Statistics at the Olympic Games (2004-2016). Journal of Human Kinetics, 62(1), 221–229. https://doi.org/10.1515/hukin-2017-0172
Vila, H., Manchado, C., Rodriguez, N., Abraldes, J. A., Alcaraz, P. E., & Ferragut, C. (2012). Anthropometric Profile, Vertical Jump, and Throwing Velocity in Elite Female Handball Players by Playing Positions. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 26(8), 2146. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e31823b0a46
Þorgeirsson, S., Pic, M., Lozano, D., Sigurgeirsson, O., Sekulic, D., & Saavedra, J. M. (2022a). Gender-based differences in game-related statistics between winning and losing teams in an amateur handball league. Acta Gymnica, 52. https://doi.org/10.5507/ag.2022.001
Þorgeirsson, S., Pic, M., Lozano, D., Sigurgeirsson, O., Sekulic, D., & Saavedra, J. M. (2022b). The Difference between Winners and Losers in Balanced Handball Games in the Final 10 Minutes. Montenegrin Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 11(2), 37–43. https://doi.org/10.26773/mjssm.220905
IX. Rules of the Game a) Indoor Handball. (2022). International Handball Federation. https://www.ihf.info/sites/default/files/2022-03/09A%20-%20Rules%20of%20the%20Game_Indoor%20Handball_E.pdf