Physical and physiological profile of U18, U19, U21 and senior elite netball players
Background: Physical and physiological profile data for elite netball players in South Africa and internationally are limited but are necessary for conditioning programme information.
Objective: To determine the physical and physiological profiles of U18, U19, U21 and senior level elite netball players at provincial level in the Free State, South Africa. The information provided is by age group and playing position. The fitness of the players for South African and New Zealand netball is also given using the fitness normative data (norms).
Methods: This cross-sectional, descriptive study consisted of 77 elite South African netball players. Anthropometric measurements were taken according to international standards. Fitness tests included the Star Execution Balance Test, standing broad jump, double- and single-leg vertical jump, Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Level 1(IR1) test, sprints over 5, 10 and 40 m, horizontal pull-ups and press-ups, the prone bridge test and anaerobic Octorepeater tests with 10 m and 20 m repeated shuttle sprints. In keeping with the descriptive nature of the study, descriptive statistics were calculated for numerical data by age group and playing position.
Results: Players generally did not meet the accepted fitness standards in the following areas: press-ups (all age groups), horizontal pull-ups (senior and U21), standing broad jump (senior and U21), vertical squat jump (senior and U21), 5 m and 10 m sprints (senior and U21); anaerobic Octorepeater (senior players), and the aerobic Yo-Yo IR1 test (all age groups).
Conclusion: Strength and conditioning coaches should develop training programmes to address fitness areas where players do not meet the international standards.
Keywords: sport, fitness tests, body composition, performance tests, fitness norms