Quantifying throwing load in handball: a method for measuring the number of throws

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  • Sebastian Deisting Skejø
  • ,
  • Behnam Liaghat, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Claes Christian Jakobsen, CC Athletics ApS, Denmark
  • Merete Møller, Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics
  • ,
  • Jesper Bencke, Amager and Hvidovre Hospital, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Hvidovre, Denmark
  • Giovanni Papi, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Nikolaj Pelle Kunwald, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Henrik Sørensen

Shoulder injuries are a common problem in handball. One likely cause of such injuries is excessive throwing. However, it is difficult to measure the number of player throws in large cohort studies using existing methods accurately. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to develop and validate a method for identifying overhead throws using a low-cost inertial measurement unit (IMU) worn on the wrist. In a two-stage approach, we developed a threshold-based automatic identification method for overhead throws in a laboratory study using the IMU. Subsequently, we validated the suggested thresholds in a field setting by comparing throws identified by the threshold-method to throws identified by video recordings of handball practices. The best set of threshold values resulted in a per-player median sensitivity of 100% (range: 84-100%) and a median positive predictive value (PPV) of 96% (range: 86-100%) in the development study. In the validation study, the per-player median sensitivity dropped to 78% sensitivity (range: 52-91%), while the per-player median PPV dropped to 79% (range: 47-90%). The proposed method is a promising method for automatically identifying handball throws in a cheap and feasible way.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSports Biomechanics
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jul 2021

    Research areas

  • inertial measurement unit, throwing load, handball exposure

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