OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of seat height, wheelchair mass and grip on mobility performance among wheelchair basketball players and to investigate whether these effects differ between classification levels. METHODS: Elite wheelchair basketball players with a low (n= 11, class 1 or 1.5) or high (n= 10, class 4 or 4.5) classification performed a field-based wheelchair mobility performance (WMP) test. Athletes performed the test six times in their own wheelchair, of which five times with different configurations, a higher or lower seat height, with additional distally or centrally located extra mass, and with gloves. The effects of these configurations on performance times and the interaction with classification were determined. RESULTS: Total performance time on the WMP test was significantly reduced when using a 7.5% lower seat height. Additional mass (7.5%) and glove use did not lead to changes in performance time. Effects were the same for the two classification levels. CONCLUSIONS: The methodology can be used in a wheelchair fitting process to search for the optimal individual configuration to enhance mobility performance. Out of all adjustments possible, this study focused on seat height, mass and grip only. Further research can focus on these possible adjustments to optimize mobility performance in wheelchair basketball.
- Wheelchair basketball
- Wheelchair configuration
- Wheelchair mobility performance