EFFECTS OF GAME LOCATION, QUALITY OF OPPOSITION, NUMBER OF FOREIGN PLAYERS AND ANTHROPOMETRIC CHARACTERITICS IN ELITE HANDBALL GAMES
The aims of this study were (1) to investigate the influence of game location, quality of opposition, age of players, and anthropometric characteristics of backcourt and pivot players as well as the number of foreign players in a team on goal difference between the teams in the French (LNH) and German (Bundesliga) national men’s professional leagues, and (2) to predict goal difference of match final scores in these two national leagues using a multiple regression model. Archival data were obtained from the open access official websites to collect a sample of 165 handball matches (LNH [N=89], and Bundesliga [N=76]) of the first part of the 2015/2016 regular season. The linear regression model predicted the winner in 79% of cases with a mean accuracy of four goals. The coefficients of determination found in both multiple regression models were r²=.67 and r²=.49 for the LNH and the Bundesliga, respectively. The models revealed a high contribution of the difference in the end-of-previous season goal-average per match ranking and a moderate contribution of the game location to goal difference. The models also highlighted differences in the way games were won in these leagues with a contribution of foreigners, anthropometric characteristics and age only in the Bundesliga.
Key words: multiple regression model, team sports, performance analysis
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