The physical demands of modern basketball were assessed by investigating 38 elite under-19-year-old basketball players during competition. Computerised time–motion analyses were performed on 18 players of various positions. Heart rate was recorded continuously for all subjects. Blood was sampled before the start of each match, at half time and at full time to determine lactate concentration. Players spent 8.8% (1%), 5.3% (0.8%) and 2.1% (0.3%) of live time in high “specific movements”, sprinting and jumping, respectively. Centres spent significantly lower live time competing in high-intensity activities than guards (14.7% (1%) v 17.1% (1.2%); p<0.01) and forwards (16.6% (0.8%); p<0.05). The mean (SD) heart rate during total time was 171 (4) beats/min, with a significant difference (p<0.01) between guards and centres. Mean (SD) plasma lactate concentration was 5.49 (1.24) mmol/l, with concentrations at half time (6.05 (1.27) mmol/l) being significantly (p<0.001) higher than those at full time (4.94 (1.46) mmol/l). The changes to the rules of basketball have slightly increased the cardiac efforts involved during competition. The game intensity may differ according to the playing position, being greatest in guards.
- HRmax, maximal heart rate
- VO2max, maximal oxygen uptake
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