Ball-throwing velocity is a relevant factor in handball. While velocity depends importantly on an overarm throw requiring specific training and skills, prediction of ball velocity is a major concern for both coaches and athletes.In this study we investigated the body composition predictors of ball-throwing velocity in male and female handball players.Forty-six handball players (age 21.2± 4.16y; stature 172.9±9.46cm; body mass 71.1±15.08kg; BMI 23.6±3.40kg/m2; 22males and 24 females) participated in this study after signed informed consent. Ball velocity during an overarm throw in a standing position (as for penalty throws) was measured using a Bushnell Doppler-radar gun. Athletes were asked to throw the ball at 0.5 x 0.5 m target located in the right or left upper corner of a standard handball goal located 7m away. Body composition was measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Linear regression analysis was used to identify predictors of ball velocity. Mean ball velocity was 19.2±4.77 and 18.9±m/s at the right and left target, respectively.Standard linear regression analysis showed that using út mass and fat-free soft tissue mass as the independent variables the resulting equation had a coefficient of determination (adjusted R2) of 0.783 for ball velocity at both the right and left target. Using the same parameters at the regional level (right arm % fat mass and fat-free soft tissue mass) the coefficient improved slightly to 0.793 and 0.798 for ball velocity at the right and left target, respectively. The standard deviation of the estimate ranged 1.9-2.2m/s. For all equations the variance inflation factor was between 1.2 and 1.7, therefore the models were not violated.These results show that DXA analysis yields data enabling prediction of ball-throwing velocity in handball with reasonable accuracy.
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