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  1. ET Rafnsson1,2,
  2. A Frohm3,
  3. G Myklebust4,
  4. R Bahr4,
  5. Ö Valdimarsson2,
  6. Á Árnason1
  1. 1Research Centre of Movement Science, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
  2. 2Orkuhusid, Physical Therapy and Medical Centre, Reykjavik, Iceland
  3. 3Karolinska Institutet, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS) Division of Physiotherapy, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden
  4. 4Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway


Background Injuries are common in handball, but little is known about their risk factors. One potential screening test to identify player at risk is the Nine Test Screening Battery (NTSB).

Objective To test the intra-rater reliability of the NTSB and compare the results from NTSB between subgroups in the cohort.

Design Test-retest design used for the intra-rater reliability test of NTSB. Experimental design used for testing senior and national team players.

Setting Icelandic male handball players.

Participants A total of 50 junior players from 5 clubs participated in the intra-rater reliability test. Also, 115 seniorplayers from 13 of 16 teams in the two highest divisions in Iceland and 26 Icelandic national team players (8 playing abroad), participated.

Main outcome of measurement Intra-rater reliability of NTSB. Difference in NTSB scores between subgroups.

Results There was a strong intra-rater correlation between the test-retest sessions, ICC: 0.95 T1: 21.6±3.5 (95% CI: 20.7–22.6), T2: 22.0±3.4 (95% CI: 21.0–22.9). The retest had significantly higher total score than the first test (P=.041), indicating some learning effect. No difference was found in total score of NTSB between teams, level of play or different age and height groups. However, goalkeepers had higher total score than other players (P=.001). Observing NTSB separately, junior players had significantly less core stability than senior and national team players (tests 5-7, P≤.006) and more mobility in trunk and shoulders (tests 8-9, P<.001). National team players were stronger in abdominal muscles (test 5, P=.003) and more flexible in active hip flexion (test 4, P=.03) than senior players in division 1 and 2.

Conclusions NTSB seems to be reliable in test-retest, but some learning effect was noticed. Junior players showed less core stability and more trunk and shoulder mobility than senior players.

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