The aim of this study is to evaluate anthropometric characteristics of elite male basketball players related to their playing position. These features vary, depending on the player’s age, the game style, the level of competition, always in accordance with the playing position.
Anthropometric parameters were determined in 335 elite male basketball player (age 21.57 ± 4.58) and categorised according to their positional roles as guards (n = 156), forwards (n = 48), and centres (n = 131). The height (Seca 214 Portable Stadiometer, Cardinal Health, Ohio, USA) and body mass (BC-418 Segmental Body Composition Analyzer, Tanita, Illinois, USA) of the participants were measured to the nearest 0.1 cm and 0.05 kg, respectively. Each participant’s body fat percentage (BF%) and muscle mass percentage (%M) was measured using the bioimpedance segmental body composition analyzer (BC-418 Segmental Body Composition Analyzer, Tanita, Illinois, USA).
The height and body mass (guards: 187.52 ± 6.05 cm, 83.53 ± 8.58 kg; forwards: 195.20 ± 3.45 cm, 87.81 ± 8.75 kg; centres: 208.71 ± 4.63 cm, 108.25 ± 9.53 kg) were different between all three groups (p < 0.001) while BMI and BF% didn’t show significant difference between guards and forwards (p > 0.05). Centres were heavier and taller, having both their BMI and BF% (guards: 8.83 ± 3.38%; forwards: 9.66 ± 3.47%; centres: 11.88 ± 4.41%) higher than the other groups (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference between groups regarding their%M (guards: 50.97 ± 2.52%; forwards: 50.28 ± 4.19%; centres: 51.09 ± 2.56%) (p > 0.05). Ninety five players or 28.36% of all, according to their BMI ( > 25kg/m2), were overweight and with increased health risk, but only 3 of them (all centres) had BF% higher than 20% (upper limit of normal range for male, age between 20 and 29, based on NIH/WHO BMI Guidelines).
There is a strong relationship between anthropometric characteristics and positional roles in elite basketball players. These characteristics differ between centres, guards and forwards. Similarities were observed only in the%M for all three groups, and in the BMI and BF% between forwards and guards. Furthermore, BMI is not a good predictor of BF% and health risk in the same group of athletes.
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