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Debbie Van Biesen, Joeri Verellen, Christophe Meyer, Jennifer Mactavish, Peter Van de Vliet and Yves Vanlandewijck

In this study the ability of elite table tennis players with intellectual disability (ID) to adapt their service/return to specific ball spin characteristics was investigated. This was done by examining the performance of 39 players with ID and a reference group of 8 players without ID on a standardized table tennis specific test battery. The battery included 16 sets of 15 identical serves that had to be returned to a fixed target, and two additional tests measuring reaction time and upper limb speed. A 2 × 4 ANOVA (with group and type of spin as independent variables) with repeated measurements (15 consecutive returns) supported the hypothesis that elite table tennis players with ID were significantly less proficient than their counterparts without ID, but both groups demonstrated a comparable progression in learning. Spearman correlation coefficients indicated a positive relationship between accuracy of return and upper limb speed (rho = 0.42: p < .05) and reaction time (rho = 0.41: p < .05), showing that these generic factors are useful in partially explaining skill variations in specific sports.

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Yves C. Vanlandewijck, Christina Evaggelinou, Daniel D. Daly, Siska Van Houtte, Joeri Verellen, Vanessa Aspeslagh, Robby Hendrickx, Tine Piessens and Bjorn Zwakhoven

The player classification system in wheelchair basketball (composed of four classes) is based on an analysis of players’ functional resources through game observation and field-testing. This study examines if the classes are in the correct proportion relative to each other. During the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in Sydney 1998, 12 teams were videotaped for three 40-min games. Eighty-eight male players were retained for a detailed performance analysis by means of the Comprehensive Basketball Grading System (CBGS). Although a slight underestimation of the functional potential of Class II and III players was noted, it was concluded that the player classification system in wheelchair basketball proportionally represents the functional potential of the players.