Analysis Of Sitting Volleyball Tasks And The Relationship Between The Classification Status And Performance Amongst Male Elite Sitting Volleyball Players; a Pilot Study

Por: G. Papaioannou, I. Morres e P. Mustafin.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Most of the Paralympic team athletes with disabilities are classified into sport classes with the use of a medical but
principally a technical (sport-oriented) process, the latter implemented on the court. Sitting-volleyball (SV) athletes,
though, are classified as handicap (impaired) or minimal-handicap (not severely impaired) instead, under the exclusive
diagnostic medical process of the impairment-centred bench testing, solely performed by Para-Medical professionals
[1]. Accordingly, six handicap athletes or five handicaps with one minimal-handicap consist of a SV team. However, in
the tournaments of World/Euro Cup, a SV athlete classified as able-bodied may replace a handicap peer. Thus, it is
interesting to explore the performance amongst elite SV athletes classified as handicap, minimal-handicap and ablebodied.
The purpose of the study was to scan whether SV athletes perform proportionally to their medical-classification status.
The following research questions were addressed: 1. Which is the relation between the performance and classification
status in SV? 2. Are there performance differences across the diverse classification facets in SV?

Under a stratified sampling on the roster of the SV World-Cup Men (Leverkusen 2003) two teams from the top, middle
and end of the ranking list, respectively, were selected. Classification status was recorded into facets as 1:able-bodied
2:minimal-handicap 3:handicap. Performance was assessed on the SV Observation Scale (SVOS) by means of a video
analysis, through which the tasks of serve and attack were rated from 1-8, block from 1-7 and defence, reception and set
from 1-6. Higher numbers indicate a better performance; the rating points of 1 and 2 spot an achievable missed and a
failed try respectively. Spearman Correlation Coefficients and Ksuska-Wallis ANOVA/Mann-Whitney Test were
computed to answer the research questions 1 and 2 respectively.


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Discussion / Conclusions
Our findings indicated that the physical potential of SV athletes as classified using medical diagnosis-classification,
is not related to their performance. Also, the physical potential of handicap SV athletes classified as impaired is not
a barrier to their equity or superiority in performance tasks towards able-bodied and minimal-handicap SV athletes.
For a reasonable determination of a class, the effect of the impairment and the related functional handicap must be
relatively small, whereas the athletic parameters should be important and provide a normal distribution of all
performances in one class [2]. Further research is needed to address the different sub-facets of disability and their
prediction effect to the SV performance.

[1]. World Organisation Volleyball for the Disabled (1997). Medical Handbook.
[2]. Strohkendl H. (2001). New Horizons for Athletes with a Disability. Aachen, Meyer & Meyer Sport.
Acknowledgments: We are grateful to Mr. G. Brouwers Sport Director World Organisation Volleyball the Disabled and
Mr. J. Frischman President Organising Comm. Sitting Volleyball World-Cup Leverkusen 2003-Germany for their
valuable help.

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