Enter your details:
Thank you for subscribing.
Subscribe to our newsletter!

Nikola Foretic1, Vladimir Pavlinovic1, Miodrag Spasic1

1University of Split, Faculty of Kinesiology, Split, Croatia

Differences in Specific Power Performance among Playing Positions in Top Level Female Handball

Sport Mont 2022, 20(1), 109-113 | DOI: 10.26773/smj.220219


Since all activities in handball should be performed as fast and as powerful as possible, power is involved in almost all players’ movements. There is an evident lack of studies that monitored this ability during matches. The study aimed to determine the situational differences in power among playing positions in top-level female handball. Variables included: body height, average game time, fastest shot, fastest sprint, and highest jump. Subjects were 227 female handball players that participated in the European handball championship 2020. Analysis of variance with the post-hoc Scheffe test was calculated. Results showed significant differences among playing positions in body height, fastest sprint and highest jump performed in real game situations. The largest differences were noticed in anthropometrics, with significant differences between back- and pivot-players on one side, and wing-players on the other. The fastest sprinting was recorded for wingers (26.5±1.12 km/h), who were significantly faster than other players. Jumping performance was most diverse among playing positions, with back-players being superior in this performance (47.24±17.61 cm, 48.44±20.71 cm, and 50.35±16.76 cm for centre-backs, leftbacks, and right-backs, respectively). Evidenced differences are explainable knowing the specific positions’ roles and typical game situations which players encounter during the match.


jump, sprint, shoot, back player, wing player, pivot player

View full article
(PDF – 150KB)


Aughey, R. J. (2011). Applications of GPS technologies to field sports. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 6 (3), 295-310.

Barbero, J. C., J. Granda-Vera, Calleja-González, J., & Del Coso, J. (2014). Physical and physiological demands of elite team handball players. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 14 (3), 921-933.

Blauberger, P., Marzilger, R., & Lames, M. (2021). Validation of Player and Ball Tracking with a Local Positioning System. Sensors, 21 (4), 1465.

Bojić-Ćaćić, L. (2018). Position-related differences in morphological characteristics of u14 female handball players. Kinesiology, 50 (2), 235-242.

Bon, M., Pori, P. & Šibila, M. (2015). Position-related differences in selected morphological body characteristics of top-level female handball players. Collegium antropologicum, 39 (3), 631-639.

Buchheit, M., & Simpson, B. M. (2017). Player-tracking technology: half-full or half-empty glass? International journal of sports physiology and performance, 12 (s2), S2-35-S32-41.

Burger, A., Foretić, N., & Čavala, M. (2015). Morphological Profi les of Playing Positions in Defense and Offense in Professional Men’s Handball. Collegium antropologicum, 39 (Supplement 1), 131-138.

Čižmek, A., Ohnjec, K., Vučetić, V., & Gruić, I. (2010). Morphological differences of elite Croatian female handball players according to their game position. Hrvatski športskomedicinski vjesnik, 25 (2), 122-127.

Davila, M. G., Garcia, P. L., Montilla, J. P., & Ruiz, F. (2006). Effect of opposition on the handball jump shot. Human Movement Studies, 51, 257-275.

Ferragut, C., Vila, H., Abraldes, J. A., & Manchado, C. (2018). Influence of physical aspects and throwing velocity in opposition situations in top-elite and elite female handball players. Journal of human kinetics, 63, 23.

Fleureau, A., Lacome, M., Buchheit, M., Couturier, A., & Rabita, G. (2020). Validity of an ultra-wideband local positioning system to assess specific movements in handball. Biology of Sport, 37 (4), 351.

Foretic, N., Rogulj, N., & Papic, V. (2013). Empirical model for evaluating situational efficiency in top level handball. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 13 (2), 275-293.

Foretić, N., Veršić, Š., Uljević, O., Pavlinović, V., & Modrić, T. (2021). Differences in situational power performance between playing positions in top level handball. Revista Brasileira de Ciências do Esporte, 43.

Gorostiaga, E., Granados, C., Ibanez, J., & Izquierdo, M. (2005). Differences in physical fitness and throwing velocity among elite and amateur male handball players. International journal of sports medicine, 26 (03), 225-232.

Granados, C., Izquierdo, M., Ibanez, J., Bonnabau, H., & Gorostiaga, E. (2007). Differences in physical fitness and throwing velocity among elite and amateur female handball players. International journal of sports medicine, 28 (10), 860-867.

Gümüş, H. & Gençoğlu, C. (2020). The effects of the goalkeeper substitution rule as a new strategy in handball: Analysis of Men’s European Handball Championship 2020. Acta Gymnica, 50 (3), 113-121.

Hammami, M., Gaamouri, N., Aloui, G., Shephard, R. J., & Chelly, M. S. (2019). Effects of a complex strength-training program on athletic performance of junior female handball players. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 14 (2), 163-169.

Haugen, T. A., Breitschädel, F., & Seiler, S. (2019). Sprint Mechanical Properties in Handball and Basketball Players. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 14 (10), 1388-1394.

Hespanhol Junior, L. C., Girotto, N., Alencar, T. N. d., & Lopes, A. D. (2012). Main sporting gestures performed by handball players. Revista Brasileira de Ciências do Esporte, 34 (3), 727-739.

Karcher, C. & Buchheit, M. (2014). On-court demands of elite handball, with special reference to playing positions. Sports medicine, 44 (6), 797-814.

Krüger, K., Pilat, C., Ückert, K., Frech, T., & Mooren, F. C. (2014). Physical performance profile of handball players is related to playing position and playing class. The journal of strength & conditioning research, 28 (1), 117-125.

Luig, P., Manchado-Lopez, C., Perse, M., Kristan, M., Schander, I., Zimmermann, M., Henke, T., & Platen, P. (2008). Motion characteristics according to playing position in international men’s team handball. 13th Annual Congress of the European College of Sports Science, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana. Universidad de Lisboa Estoril, Portugal.

Massuça, L. & Fragoso, I. (2013). A multidisciplinary approach of success in team-handball. Apunts. Medicina de l’Esport, 48 (180), 143-151.

Michalsik, L., Aagaard, P., & Madsen, K. (2013). Locomotion characteristics and match-induced impairments in physical performance in male elite team handball players. International journal of sports medicine, 34 (07), 590-599.

Póvoas, S. C., Seabra, A. F., Ascensão, A. A., Magalhães, J., Soares, J. M., & Rebelo, A. N. (2012). Physical and physiological demands of elite team handball. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 26 (12), 3365-3375.

Rivilla-Garcia, J., Grande, I., Sampedro, J., & Van Den Tillaar, R. (2011). Influence of opposition on ball velocity in the handball jump throw. Journal of sports science & medicine, 10 (3), 534.

Saavedra, J. M., Halldórsson, K., Kristjánsdóttir, H., Forgeirsson, S. & Sveinsson, G. (2019). Anthropometric charachteristics, physical fitness and the prediction of throwing velocity in handball men young players. Kinesiology, 51 (2), 253-260.

Sarvestan, J., Riedel, V., Gonosová, Z., Linduška, P., & Přidalová, M. (2019). Relationship between anthropometric and strength variables and maximal throwing velocity in female junior handball players-a pilot study. Acta Gymnica, 49 (3), 132-137.

Srhoj, V., Rogulj, N., Papić, V., Foretić, N., & Čavala, M. (2012). The influence of anthropological features on ball flight speed in handball. Collegium antropologicum, 36 (3), 967-972.

Šibila, M., Pori, P., & Bon, M. (2003). Basic kinematic differences between two types of jump shot techniques in handball. Universitatis Palackianae Olomucensis Gymnica, 33 (1), 19-26.

Šimonek, J., Horička, P., & Hianik, J. (2017). The differences in acceleration, maximal speed and agility between soccer, basketball, volleyball and handball players. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 12 (1), 73-82.

Urban, F., & Kandráč, R. (2013). The relationship between morphological profile and player performance in elite female handball players. 2nd EHF Scientific Conference: Woman and Handball: Scientific and Practical Approaches.

van Den Tillaar, R. & Cabri, J. M. (2012). Gender differences in the kinematics and ball velocity of overarm throwing in elite team handball players. Journal of sports sciences, 30 (8), 807-813.

van den Tillaar, R., & Ettema, G. (2004). Effect of body size and gender in overarm throwing performance. European journal of applied physiology, 91 (4), 413-418.

van der Kruk, E., van der Helm, F., Veeger, H. & Schwab, A. L. (2018). Power in sports: a literature review on the application, assumptions, and terminology of mechanical power in sport research. Journal of biomechanics, 79, 1-14.

Vila, H., Manchado, C., Rodriguez, N., Abraldes, J. A., Alcaraz, P. E., & Ferragut, C. (2012). Anthropometric profile, vertical jump, and throwing velocity in elite female handball players by playing positions. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 26 (8), 2146-2155.

Wagner, H., Finkenzeller, T., Würth, S., & Von Duvillard, S. P. (2014). Individual and team performance in team-handball: A review. Journal of sports science & medicine, 13 (4), 808.

Zapartidis, I., Kororos, P., Christodoulidis, T., Skoufas, D., & Bayios, I. (2011). Profile of young handball players by playing position and determinants of ball throwing velocity. Journal of Human Kinetics, 27 (1), 17-30.