Handball is an intense and intermittent team sport with repeated high-intensity explosive actions such as sprints, jumps, throws and body contacts, which are combined with intervals of low intensity
activities such as standing and walking. Success in team handball is established by several technical, tactical, anthropometric, mental and physical performance variables.
In this sport, the overhead throw is notably one of the key performance indicators. Studies suggest that a faster throw can distinguish athletes from different levels of performance.
It has been reported that athletes specialized in throwing events are taller, heavier and more muscularly build than non-throwers. Several studies has concluded that elite players has greater body
size (height and weight) when compared with lower level players in different contexts. Likewise, studies have shown a strong correlation between body size and athletic performance in handball.
The purpose of the study was to verify the effect of anthropometric variables and performance level of female handball athletes from division 1 and 2 of the portuguese national championship in two
different types of overhead throw.
28 adult female handball players from two teams were selected, 13 from a first division club and 15 from a second division club. All athletes were well-trained in the selected motor task of the study.
Both teams participated in the Portuguese Handball Championship (2014/2015).
Basic anthropometric variables were measured (weight and height) and a radar gun (Stalker ATS II Sports Radar) was used to evaluate the ball speed in two different types of throw: 7m penalty shot and
the 9m jump shot with a 3-step run-up. Resin was used as desired.
Results has shown that first division players are heavier and taller (p<0.05) than players from second division. In both teams, the 9m jump shot was faster (p<0.05) than the 7m penalty shot.
The first division players has achieved higher ball velocities in both types of shot than the second division players.
In conclusion, athletes from a higher level of performance has greater body size and throw with higher ball velocities in both 7m penalty shot and 9m jump shot, when compared with lower level players.
These results showed that body size is positive related with throwing speed, and a higher and heavier handball player can throw the ball faster.