The aim of the present study was to investigate relationships between a performance index derived from the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1) and other measures of physical performance and skill in handball players. The other measures considered included peak muscular power of the lower limbs (Wpeak), jumping ability (squat and counter-movement jumps (SJ, CMJ), a handball skill test and the average sprinting velocities over the first step (VS) and the first 5 m (V5m). Test scores for 25 male national-level adolescent players (age: 17.2 ± 0.7 years) averaged 4.83 ± 0.34 m·s-1 (maximal velocity reached at the Yo-Yo IR1); 917 ± 105 Watt, 12.7 ± 3 W·kg-1 (Wpeak); 3.41 ± 0.5 m·s-1 and 6.03 ± 0.6 m·s-1 (sprint velocities for Vs and V5m respectively) and 10.3 ± 1 s (handball skill test). Yo-Yo IR1 test scores showed statistically significant correlations with all of the variables examined: Wpeak (W and W·kg-1) r = 0.80 and 0.65, respectively, p≤0.001); sprinting velocities (r = 0.73 and 0.71 for VS and V5m respectively; p≤0.001); jumping performance (SJ: r = 0.60, p≤0.001; CMJ: r= 0.66, p≤0.001) and the handball skill test (r = 0.71; p≤0.001). We concluded that the Yo-Yo test score showed a sufficient correlation with other potential means of assessing handball players, and that intra-individual changes of Yo-Yo IR1 score could provide a useful composite index of the response to training or rehabilitation, although correlations lack sufficient precision to help in players’ selection.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.