Objective: This study aimed to investigate which characteristics of athlete, wheelchair and athlete-wheelchair interface are the best predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. Design: A total of 60 experienced wheelchair basketball players performed a wheelchair mobility performance test to assess their mobility performance. To determine which variables were the best predictors of mobility performance, forward stepwise linear regression analyses were performed on a set of 33 characteristics, including 10 athlete, 19 wheelchair, and 4 athlete-wheelchair interface characteristics. Results: A total of 8 of the characteristics turned out to be significant predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. Classification, experience, maximal isometric force, wheel axis height, and hand rim diameter—which both are interchangeable with each other and wheel diameter—camber angle, and the vertical distance between shoulder and rear wheel axis—which was interchangeable with seat height—were positively associated with mobility performance. The vertical distance between the front seat and the footrest was negatively associated with mobility performance. Conclusion: With this insight, coaches and biomechanical specialists are provided with statistical findings to determine which characteristics they could focus on best to improve mobility performance. Six out of 8 predictors are modifiable and can be optimized to improve mobility performance. These adjustments could be carried out both in training (maximal isometric force) and in wheelchair configurations (eg, camber angle).
T.T.J. Veeger, de Witte, D. Veeger, and Hoozemans are with the Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. de Witte, Berger, and van der Slikke are with the Faculty Health, Nutrition & Sport, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, The Netherlands. van der Slikke and D. Veeger are also with the Department of Biomechanical Engineering, University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.