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Asuman Saltan and Handan Ankarali

Objective:

To compare classification levels and trunk stabilization of wheelchair basketball players and to identify their norm values of trunk balance.

Participants:

113 wheelchair basketball players in the super and first Turkish leagues.

Interventions:

A modified Wheelchair Skills Test (WST) (version 4.1) was used to evaluate trunk stabilization. Two skills were chosen that correspond to the stationary wheelie activity in WST, the 30-s stationary wheelie and stationary wheelie in 180°.

Main Outcome Measure:

There are no statistical differences between WST rates and point means.

Results:

The skills and success and safety rates of the players with 1.5 points (51.9%, 44.4%) were lower than those of the players with 1.0 point (70%, 66.7%). In players with 2.5 and 2.0 points, the most successful and safest percentage values were 78.6%, 78.6% and 82.1%, 75%.

Conclusions:

Although it is expected that trunk stabilization would be better in players with high points, in our study we encountered conflicting results between the points and sitting balance or trunk stabilization. Our study supports the studies in the literature suggesting modifications in the functional-classification system.

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Amelia Ferro, Jorge Villacieros and Javier Pérez-Tejero

The purpose of this study was to develop a methodology to accurately analyze sprint performance of elite wheelchair basketball (WB) players in their own training context using a laser system and to analyze the velocity curve performed by the players regarding their functional classification and their playing position. Twelve WB players, from the Spanish men’s national team, took part in an oncourt 20-m-sprint test. BioLaserSport® was used to obtain time, mean velocities (Vm), maximum velocities (Vmax), and distances at 90%, 95%, and 98% of their Vmax. Vm and Vmax reached high values in Classes II and III and in the guard playing position. The protocol developed with the laser system makes it possible to obtain a precise velocity curve in short sprints and allows easy analysis of decisive kinematic performance variables in WB players, showing immediate feedback to coaches and players. The normalized data allow an interpretation of how much, where, and when Vmax occurs along the test.

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Frederico R. Neto, Guilherme H. Lopes, Rodrigo R. Gomes Costa, Asuman Saltan and Handan Ankarali

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Sheng K. Wu and Trevor Williams

The aim was to analyze the relationship between performance and classes of swimmers and between types of physical impairments and medal winners. Participants were 374 swimmers at the 1996 Paralympic Games with six types of impairments: poliomyelitis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, amputation, dysmelia, and les autres. Data included performance times, gender, classification, swimming stroke and distance, and type of impairment. ANOVA and Spearman rank correlation treatment of data revealed significant differences in swimmers’ mean speeds across classes and positive correlations in swimmers’ classes and swimming speeds in all male and female events; no type of impairment dominated the opportunity to participate, win medals, or advance to the finals. It was concluded that the current swimming classification system is effective with respect to generating fair competition for most swimmers.

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Beatriz M. Crespo-Ruiz, Antonio J. Del Ama-Espinosa and ángel M. Gil-Agudo

The objective was to conduct a methodological pilot study to analyze wheelchair propulsion upper limb kinematics in standard competitive play considering the functional classification of each athlete. Ten basketball players with a functional classification ranging from 1 to 4 were included in the study. Four camcorders (Kinescan-IBV) and a treadmill for wheelchairs were used. Temporal parameters were analyzed and the upper limb kinematics was obtained using ISB recommendations. The value of the temporal parameters such as push phase duration, the ratio of push phase/recovery phase, contact, and propulsion angle seems to reduce as the functional classification increases. A methodological protocol has been developed that allows the analysis of kinematic characteristics of wheelchair propulsion in basketball players taking into account their functional classification.

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Lütfiye Akkurt, İpek Alemdaroğlu Gürbüz, Ayşe Karaduman and Öznur Tunca Yilmaz

functional levels were at 1 or 2 according to the Brooke Lower Extremity Functional Classification Scale, were included in the study. The inclusion criteria for the patients were as follows: (1) They must have been diagnosed with DMD. (2) They must be in the ambulatory period and be able to climb 4 steps

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Keith P. Gennuso, Kathryn Zalewski, Susan E. Cashin and Scott J. Strath

Background:

To examine the effectiveness of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) resistance training (RT) guidelines to improve physical function and functional classification in older adults with reduced physical abilities.

Methods:

Twenty-five at-risk older adults were randomized to a control (CON = 13) or 8-week resistance training intervention arm (RT = 12). Progressive RT included 8 exercises for 1 set of 10 repetitions at a perceived exertion of 5–6 performed twice a week. Individuals were assessed for physical function and functional classification change (low, moderate or high) by the short physical performance battery (SPPB) and muscle strength measures.

Results:

Postintervention, significant differences were found between groups for SPPB—Chair Stand [F(1,22) = 9.14, P < .01, η = .29] and SPPB—Total Score [F(1,22) = 7.40, P < .05, η = .25]. Functional classification was improved as a result of the intervention with 83% of participants in the RT group improving from low to moderate functioning or moderate to high functioning. Strength significantly improved on all exercises in the RT compared with the CON group.

Conclusions:

A RT program congruent with the current ASCM and AHA guidelines is effective to improve overall physical function, functional classification, and muscle strength for older adults with reduced physical abilities.

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Scott M. Lephart and Timothy J. Henry

The confusion between the terms open kinetic chain and closed kinetic chain becomes even greater with application to the upper extremity. Upper extremity function is very difficult to define, due to the numerous shoulder positions and the great velocities with which the shoulder can move. Classifying exercises for rehabilitation of the upper extremity is very difficult due to the complexity of the joint. Many definitions and classification systems have been proposed; however, none of these entirely encompass rehabilitation of the upper extremity. Using previous classifications we have developed a Functional Classification System that is designed to serve as a template for upper extremity rehabilitation. This system has been designed to restore functional shoulder stability, which is dependent upon proper scapulothoracic and glenohumeral stability, and humeral control; all of these are in part mediated by neuromuscular mechanisms. The objective of our new Functional Classification System is to restore functional stability of the shoulder by reestablishing neuromuscular control for overhead activities.

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Daniel J. Daly and Yves Vanlandewijck

In disability swimming, a functional classification system is used in which swimmers with varying impairments compete against each other in one of 10 classes. In classification research, the criterion most often used to judge validity (fairness) is statistical difference in race performance between adjacent classes. Additional criteria are proposed here. First, the world-record swimming speed should decrease in a predictable manner with decreasing functional class. Second, classes should be clearly discriminated by race performances. To aid in evaluating these criteria, a comparison of the competitiveness (depth of the field) of the classes is made. The criteria were not strictly met in all classes. However, the sprint freestyle events approached fairness, especially for men. The exceptions were more due to a lack of maturity of the sport than to fundamental unfairness. Because of the more complex nature of breaststroke, more problems were observed related to classification fairness in this event.

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James M. Rhodes, Barry S. Mason, Bertrand Perrat, Martin J. Smith, Laurie A. Malone and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

Purpose:

To quantify the activity profiles of elite wheelchair rugby (WCR) players and establish classification-specific arbitrary speed zones. In addition, indicators of fatigue during full matches were explored.

Methods:

Seventy-five elite WCR players from 11 national teams were monitored using a radio-frequency-based, indoor tracking system across 2 international tournaments. Players who participated in complete quarters (n = 75) and full matches (n = 25) were included and grouped by their International Wheelchair Rugby Federation functional classification: groups I (0.5), II (1.0–1.5), III (2.0–2.5), and IV (3.0–3.5).

Results:

During a typical quarter, significant increases in total distance (m), relative distance (m/min), and mean speed (m/s) were associated with an increase in classification group (P < .001), with the exception of groups III and IV. However, group IV players achieved significantly higher peak speeds (3.82 ± 0.31 m/s) than groups I (2.99 ± 0.28 m/s), II (3.44 ± 0.26 m/s), and III (3.67 ± 0.32 m/s). Groups I and II differed significantly in match intensity during very-low/low-speed zones and the number of high-intensity activities in comparison with groups III and IV (P < .001). Full-match analysis revealed that activity profiles did not differ significantly between quarters.

Conclusions:

Notable differences in the volume of activity were displayed across the functional classification groups. However, the specific on-court requirements of defensive (I and II) and offensive (III and IV) match roles appeared to influence the intensity of match activities, and consequently training prescription should be structured accordingly.