Seated Basketball Throw

This is a simple test of upper body strength and power, requiring only a basketball, a wall and tape measure. The aim is to throw a basketball using both hands as far as possible. By keeping the back in contact with the wall the contribution of the torso is minimized. There is another basketball throw test, though only one hand is used and the ball is thrown form the kneeling position. There are other throw tests, however using a heavier powerball and medicine ball.

purpose: This test measures upper body (arms/shoulders/chest) strength and explosive power.

equipment required: basketball, wall, tape measure.

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 weight of the ball. Perform a standard warm-up, with practice aiming for the ideal release angle. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: The athlete sits on the floor with the back against a wall, and the legs fully extended in front of the body. The ball is held with the hands on the side and slightly behind the center and pulled back against the middle of the chest. The forearms are positioned parallel to the ground ("elbows up!). The athlete pushes the basketball vigorously as far forward as he can while maintaining the back against the wall. They must not throw favoring one arm or rotate about the spine. The distance thrown is recorded. Three attempts are allowed.

scoring: The distance from the wall to where the ball lands is recorded. The measurement is recorded to the nearest centimeter. The best result of three throws is used.

variations: a heavier ball can be used, such as a medicine ball (see the similar Seated Medicine Ball Throw). The weight of the ball thrown will obviously affect results, and should be selected to best test the age group or abilities of your subjects. There is also a similar test using a powerball, the Powerball Chest Launch, though in this case the subject is kneeling away from the wall and can use the torso to help propel the ball.

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, 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 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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