Preprint / Version 1

Analysing Motion Characteristics and Metabolic Power in Elite Male Handball Players


  • Manuel Bassek German Sport University Cologne
  • Dominik Raabe German Sport University Cologne
  • Daniel Memmert German Sport University Cologne
  • Robert Rein German Sport University Cologne



position data, performance analysis, big data, LPS, player load


This study analysed physiological demands of male handball players based on position data from 77 professional handball matches from the German Handball Bundesliga. Distance covered by wings, backcourts, and pivots in different velocity zones and metabolic power were investigated. Results showed that total distance covered varied with playing position with wings covering 3568 ± 1459 m in 42 ± 17 min, backs covering 2462 ± 1145 m in 29 ± 14 min, and pivots covering 2445 ± 1052 m in 30 ± 13 min per game. Wings covered more distance using greater running velocities than backs and pivots, while backs covered the largest distance per minute playing time. Distance covered and equivalent distance showed moderate to large interaction effects between wings and backs (p < .01, ES = 0.73) and between wings and pivots (p < .01, ES = 0.86). The results underline the need for an individualized management of training loads and the potential of using information about locomotion accelerations and decelerations to obtain more precise descriptions of physiological demands underlying handball game performance at the highest level of competition. Future studies should investigate the influence of physical performance on smaller match sequences, like ball possession phases.


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