RESEARCH ARTICLE


Water Polo Performance Classification Based on the Functional Test for Agility Performance: A Long-Term Training Tool



Guilherme Tucher1, *, Silvio de Cássio Costa Telles2, Ricardo Gomes Cabral3, Nuno Domingos Garrido4, Flávio Antônio de Souza Castro5
1 Escola de Educação Física e Desportos, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Aquatic Sports Science Research Group, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 Aquatic Sports Science Research Group, Escola de Educação Física e Desportos, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Instituto de Educação Física e Desportos, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
3 Instituto de Educação Física e Desportos, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4 Sports Science Department, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal and Research Centre in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), Vila Real, Portugal
5 Escola de Educação Física, Fisioterapia e Dança, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Tucher et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Escola de Educação Física e Desportos, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Aquatic Sports Science Research Group, Escola de Educação Física e Desportos, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Tel: +55(22)98804-2953; E-mail: g.tucher@eefd.ufrj.br


Abstract

Background:

Water polo is an open-skilled team sport in which agility is important.

Objective:

This study aimed to propose a water polo player classification based on the Functional Test for Agility Performance.

Methods:

A total of 78 male water polo players of different competition levels (7.7% regional, 52.5% national and 39.7% international), years of training (6.7 ± 4.5; 2-25 years), weekly training frequency (6.1 ± 2.1; 2-12) and age (18.1 ± 4.3; 12-36) were evaluated in the Functional Test for Agility Performance. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis was used in five levels to classify water polo player performance.

Results:

The players were classified based on the Functional Test for Agility Performance as excellent (≤ 3.22 s), very good (3.23-4.48 s); good (4.49-4.76 s); under development (4.77-5.11 s) and learning (≥ 5.12 s). Age, years of training, and weekly training frequency showed a decreasing trend from Gr1 to Gr4. Athletes at the international level ranked primarily in the best performing groups (Gr1 and Gr2, n = 30), the ones at the national level in the intermediate groups (Gr2, Gr3 and Gr4; n = 41), with a higher concentration in Gr2, and those at regional level mainly in Gr4 (n = 4).

Conclusion:

This classification proposal is expected to be useful as a tool to evaluate the training of athletes of different competition levels as well as to follow up on water polo athletes in long-term training.

Keywords: Water polo, Agility, Assessment, Performance, Sport, Talent, Team sport, Long-term training.