Apunts Medicina de l'Esport (English Edition) Apunts Medicina de l'Esport (English Edition)
Apunts Med Esport. 2013;48:143-51 - Vol. 48 Num.180 DOI: 10.1016/j.apunts.2013.06.004

A multidisciplinary approach of success in team-handball

Luís Massuça a,b,, Isabel Fragoso c

a Lusófona University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Lisbon, Portugal
b Faculty of Human Kinetics, Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
c Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal


Handball. Morphology. Physiology. Psychology. Skills.


The aims of this study were: (i) to describe and compare morphologic, physiological, specific-skills and psychological attributes of team-handball players from two teams with different performances, and (ii) to identify the variables that differentiated between the successful and less-successful team-handball players. Thirty-four (age 23.4 ± 4.7 years; stature, 182 ± 6.3 cm; body mass 85.4 ± 11.4 kg) professional male adult team-handball players were studied. Eighteen athletes (age 23.0 ± 3.8 years) were classified as successful, and sixteen athletes (age 23.8 ± 5.5 years) were classified as less-successful. Each participant was measured according to four categories of variables, i.e. morphologic (proportionality, somatotype and body composition), physiological, handball-specific skills (technical skills and game intelligence profile) and psychological profiles. Each set of data was analyzed using MANOVA (for which success was the between participant variable), ANOVA and a discriminant function analysis (Stepwise method). Finally the selected measures were analyzed together (a multidisciplinary approach) using a discriminant function analysis (Stepwise method) to determine which combination of measures best discriminated between the two groups of success. The results showed that: (1) the two groups presented significant results for 10 of 77 variables; (2) six measures (30-m sprint, standing vertical jump, right handgrip, sit-ups, stature and ability to vary their actions) appear to be the strongest predictors of success in team-handball (Successful = −1.827; Less-successful = 2.055; ¿ = 0.200, χ2(6) = 46.603, P < 0.001). The chosen variables are representative of three different categories (morphologic, physiological and team-handball-specific skills) showing that the study of modern team-handball requires a multidisciplinary approach.