Quantifying Wheelchair Basketball Match Load: A Comparison of Heart-Rate and Perceived-Exertion Methods

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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To describe the objective and subjective match load (ML) of wheelchair basketball (WB) and determine the relationship between session heart-rate (HR) -based ML and rating-of-perceived-exertion (RPE) -based ML methods.


HR-based measurements of ML included Edwards ML and Stagno training impulses (TRIMPMOD), while RPE-based ML measurements included respiratory (sRPEres) and muscular (sRPEmus). Data were collected from 10 WB players during a whole competitive season.


Edwards ML and TRIMPMOD averaged across 16 matches were 255.3 ± 66.3 and 167.9 ± 67.1 AU, respectively. In contrast, sRPEres ML and sRPEmus ML were found to be higher (521.9 ± 188.7 and 536.9 ± 185.8 AU, respectively). Moderate correlations (r = .629–.648, P < .001) between Edwards ML and RPE-based ML methods were found. Moreover, similar significant correlations were also shown between the TRIMPMOD and RPE-based ML methods (r = .627–.668, P < .001). That said, only ≥40% of variance in HR-based ML was explained by RPE-based ML, which could be explained by the heterogeneity of physical-impairment type.


RPE-based ML methods could be used as an indicator of global internal ML in highly trained WB players.

Iturricastillo, Yanci, and Granados are with the Faculty of Education and Sport, University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Goosey-Tolfrey is with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Lough-borough University, Loughborough, UK.

Address author correspondence to Javier Yanci at javier.yanci@ehu.es.