Background: Although athletes with Mental Retardation (MR) have achieved an important role, literature concerning the evaluation tests in basketball is still poor.
Objective: To assess basketball ability before and after a 4-month training performed before championship for athletes with MR and to correlate ability variations to MR levels.
Methods: 15 trained basketball players with MR (11 males and 4 females; age range 21-43 years; MR: 3 Mild, 8 Moderate, 8 Severe and 1 Profound). Athletes were tested before (PRE) and after (POST) 4-months training preceding the championship. The tests assessed 4 levels of ability, each one characterized by 4 fundamental areas of this game: ball handling, reception, passing and shooting. Each area was divided in 5 specific components.
Results: The team average score, based on the score of each athlete’s 4 levels, improved by 6.6 points (41.6 (11.9) v 48.2 (14.7)). The comparison between PRE and POST score in each level showed increases (p<0.01), especially in level II (14.4 (3.5) v 16.5 (3.3)) and in level III (7.1 (5.7) v 9.2 (6.6)). Within level II, ball handling (3.67 (1.2) v 4.37 (0.5); p<0.05) and passing (3.20 (1.2) v 3.97 (1.3); p<0.01) improved; in level III reception (3.21 (1.1) v 3.73 (1.1); p=0.01)and shooting (1.82 (1.1) v 2.45 (1.3); p<0.05) increased.
Conclusions: A 4-month training caused a general improvement, especially evident in levels II and III. Total score reached in level II was negatively correlated to MR level (r=-0.56; p<0.05) indicating that athletes with lower MR obtained higher scores.
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