Ball Possessions and Game Rhythm in Basketball Games involving Players with and without Intellectual Impairments

Kandianos Sakalidis, Javier Pérez Tejero, Mohammed Khudair, Florentina Hettinga*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: Ball possessions and game rhythm are promising variables to better understand teams' collective behaviour during a basketball game. However, the role of these variables is not well documented in teams with intellectual impairments (II). This study aimed to explore ball possession and game rhythm differences between II and non-II basketball games. Methods: Data were obtained through video observations (53 II games) and the International Basketball Federation records (53 non-II games). Results: Independent t-tests (P ≤ 0.05) revealed that the number of ball possessions was higher and game rhythm was faster in II games. Two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance (P ≤ 0.05) showed that ball possessions and game rhythm developed differently throughout the II games compared with the non-II games. Conclusions: The differences may be due to the decision-making, tactical and self-regulatory limitations of players with II. These limitations adequately explain why players with II respond differently to the environmental cues and monitor insufficiently their actions compared with players without II. Additionally, the higher number of ball possessions and the faster game rhythm in II games could be an indicator of more intuitive, and thus faster, game-related decision-making. In conclusion, the study provides further understanding of the role of cognition in basketball and contributes to better explain the differences between II and non-II games.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number1
Early online date31 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

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