NUMBER OF PLAYERS WHO GAIN BALL POSSESSION AS A FUNCTION OF BASKETBALL MASS AMONG 9-11-YEAR-OLD MALE PLAYERS1


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Abstract

Summary.This study analyzed whether a ball with a higher (540-g) or lower (440-g) mass than the regulation ball (485-g) resulted in a larger number of participants gaining ball possession during games. Prior studies have indicated that ball handling is facilitated by decreasing the mass of the ball. It was assumed that a greater number of children gaining possession of the ball indicated greater ease of use and more control. Thus, the hypothesis was that the number of participants who gained ball possession would increase when using a ball of lower mass. The participants were 54 boys from six youth basketball teams. Participants played four games with each one of the three different balls and the number of possessions was calculated using videos of each game. The hypothesis was only partially supported: the number of participants who gained possession with the regular ball was similar to that with the 440-g ball and with the 540-g ball, but a greater number of participants gained possession with the 440-g ball in comparison to the 540-g ball. This result suggests balls that differ by more than 65 g may affect actual game outcomes.

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