Kneeling Basketball Throw

The Kneeling Basketball Throw is a fitness test of upper body strength and power, requiring only a basketball and a tape measure. The aim is to throw a standard-sized basketball as far as possible using a one-handed throw technique. There is another basketball throw test, in which the participant sits with their back against the wall, and throws with both hands. There are also other throw tests using a heavier powerball and medicine ball.

purpose: This test measures upper body strength and explosive power.

equipment required: standard size basketball, tape measure, mat to cushion the knees (optional).

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender and test conditions. Check and record the size and weight of the ball. Perform a standard warm-up, with practice aiming for the ideal ball release angle. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: The subject kneels with knees behind a line. In an overhand throwing motion, the ball is thrown with one hand as far as possible. The non-throwing hand may be used to steady the ball prior to throwing, but only one hand may be used to throw the ball (either hand may be used). The knees must stay in contact with the ground, and no part of the body can touch the other side of the line. The best distance thrown is recorded. Three attempts are allowed.

scoring: The distance from the start line to where the ball lands is recorded. The measurement is recorded to the nearest foot. The best result of the three throws is used. This test is used for the US Air Force Academy, and their goal score is 69 feet or 19 meters (men) and 42 feet or 13 meters (women).

variations: The size and weight of the ball thrown will obviously affect results, and should be selected to best test the age group or abilities of your subjects. Throwing power tests using lighter balls are the softball and baseball throw tests. There is a test using the heavier powerball, the Powerball Rotational Throw, though it is a two-handed rotational throw.

target population: This test is not just for basketballers, it would be suitable for any sports in which upper body power is important, such as netball, rowing, and tennis.

advantages: this test is easy and quick to perform for an individual.

disadvantages: several people are needed to conduct this test smoothly: one to mark results, another to check for correct technique and another to collect and return the balls. If testing a large group, it can be time consuming to put all the subjects through this test.

comments: The angle the ball is thrown is important. You may want to explain to the subject about the optimal angle for maximal distance, and to allow some practice attempts. You may aid in the ease of measurement for this test by extending a tape measure out along the expected path in front of the subject. When recording the distance, you can either move the tape to where the ball lands, or less accurately align where the ball landed to the approximate distance on the tape.


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