A systematic review on fitness testing in adult male basketball players: tests adopted, characteristics reported and recommendations for practice

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Morrison, Matthew, Martin, David T, Talpey, Scott W, Scanlan, Aaron T, Delaney, Jace A, Halson, Shona L ORCID: 0000-0002-1047-3878 and Weakley, Jonathon ORCID: 0000-0001-7892-4885 (2022) A systematic review on fitness testing in adult male basketball players: tests adopted, characteristics reported and recommendations for practice. Sports Medicine, 52. pp. 1491-1532. ISSN 0112-1642


Background: As basketball match-play requires players to possess a wide range of physical characteristics, many tests have been introduced in the literature to identify talent and quantify fitness in various samples of players. However, a synthesis of the literature to identify the most frequently used tests, outcome variables, and normative values for basketball-related physical characteristics in adult male basketball players is yet to be conducted. Objective: The primary objectives of this systematic review are to (1) identify tests and outcome variables used to assess physical characteristics in adult male basketball players across all competition levels, (2) report a summary of anthropometric, muscular power, linear speed, change-of-direction speed, agility, strength, anaerobic capacity, and aerobic capacity in adult male basketball players based on playing position and competition level, and (3) introduce a framework outlining recommended testing approaches to quantify physical characteristics in adult male basketball players. Methods: A systematic review of MEDLINE, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Scopus, and Web of Science was performed following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines to identify relevant studies. To be eligible for inclusion, studies were required to: (1) be original research articles; (2) be published in a peer-reviewed journal; (3) have full-text versions available in the English language; and (4) include the primary aim of reporting tests used and/or the physical characteristics of adult (i.e., ≥ 18 years of age) male basketball players. Additionally, data from the top 10 draft picks who participated in the National Basketball Association combined from 2011–12 to 2020–21 were extracted from the official league website to highlight the physical characteristics of elite 19- to 24-year-old basketball players. Results: A total of 1684 studies were identified, with 375 being duplicates. Consequently, the titles and abstracts of 1309 studies were screened and 231 studies were eligible for full-text review. The reference list of each study was searched, with a further 59 studies identified as eligible for review. After full-text screening, 137 studies identified tests, while 114 studies reported physical characteristics in adult male basketball players. Conclusions: Physical characteristics reported indicate a wide range of abilities are present across playing competitions. The tests and outcome variables reported in the literature highlight the multitude of tests currently being used. Because there are no accepted international standards for physical assessment of basketball players, establishing normative data is challenging. Therefore, future testing should involve repeatable protocols that are standardised and provide outcomes that can be monitored across time. Recommendations for testing batteries in adult male basketball players are provided so improved interpretation of data can occur. Clinical Trial Registration: This review was registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews and allocated registration number CRD42020187151 on 28 April, 2020.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/45190
DOI 10.1007/s40279-021-01626-3
Official URL https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-0...
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4207 Sports science and exercise
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords basketball, male basketball players, fitness testing, talent identification, fitness
Citations in Scopus 6 - View on Scopus
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