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Game characteristics in elite para table tennis

Spielcharakteristika im Paratischtennis auf Hochleistungsebene


This study focuses on the rally length and the impact of the serve, i. e. the winning probability when serving, in elite para table tennis (class 1–10) to provide a better insight in the task characteristics of para table tennis. The influences of sex and the level of impairment and their possible interactions are studied. Matches (n = 227) of elite para table tennis players (class 1–10) ranked in the top 20 of the world ranking lists in their class were analysed. The results of this study revealed a significant main effect of sex with small effect sizes in the three-factorial model and medium to large effect sizes in the individual comparisons on the rally length and the winning probabilities directly from service and first attack. Moreover, an interaction effect was also found of sex and sitting/standing for the same outcomes with small (winning probabilities) to medium (rally length) effect sizes. Finally, the severity of class 1 affected these outcomes significantly with large effect sizes, when comparing the outcomes of this class to the ones of the other sitting classes in male players. In conclusion, due to shorter rallies and a high direct impact of the serve for all female sitting players and for male sitting and standing para players with the highest level of impairments, serve and especially receive training should be an important part of the training for these para table tennis players.


In der vorliegenden Studie wurden die Länge der Ballwechsel und die Bedeutung des Aufschlags, genauer die Gewinnwahrscheinlichkeit bei eigenem Aufschlag, im Paratischtennis auf Hochleistungsebene (Klasse 1–10) untersucht, um die Anforderungsmerkmale in diesem Sport besser zu verstehen. Die Einflüsse des Geschlechts und des Beeinträchtigungsgrads sowie deren mögliche Wechselwirkungen wurden analysiert. Spiele (n = 227) von Spitzensportlern im Paratischtennis (Klasse 1–10), die unter den Top 20 der Weltrangliste in ihrer Klasse rangierten, wurden berücksichtigt. Die Untersuchungen zeigten einen signifikanten Haupteffekt des Geschlechts mit geringen Effektgrößen im dreifaktoriellen Modell und moderaten bis hohen Effektgrößen in den Einzelvergleichen auf die Ballwechsellänge und die Gewinnwahrscheinlichkeiten direkt nach Aufschlag und erstem Angriff. Des Weiteren wurde eine Wechselwirkung von Geschlecht und Sitzen/Stehen für dieselben Ergebnisparameter mit geringen (Gewinnwahrscheinlichkeit) und moderaten (Ballwechsellänge) Effektgrößen gefunden. Zuletzt beeinflusste der Schweregrad in Klasse 1 diese Ergebnisparameter signifikant mit hohen Effektgrößen, wenn die Ergebnisparameter dieser Klasse mit denen der anderen sitzenden Klassen bei Männern verglichen wurden. Bedingt durch kürzere Ballwechsel und einen stärkeren direkten Einfluss des Aufschlags bei allen sitzenden Spielerinnen sowie bei sitzenden oder stehenden Spielern mit dem höchsten Grad der Beeinträchtigung sollten Aufschlag- und insbesondere Annahmeübungen einen wichtigen Bestandteil des Trainings dieser Gruppen von Paratischtennisspielern ausmachen.

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Correspondence to Michael Fuchs.

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M. Fuchs, I.R. Faber and M. Lames declare that they have no competing interests.

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1975 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Fuchs, M., Faber, I.R. & Lames, M. Game characteristics in elite para table tennis. Ger J Exerc Sport Res 49, 251–258 (2019).

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