The basketball-20: development of a basketball-specific field-based work protocol

Document Type


Publication details

Nigg, SR, Whitting, JW, Tomaras, E, Davis, E & Nigg, BM 2015, 'The basketball-20: development of a basketball-specific field-based work protocol', Journal of Fitness Research, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 26-35.

Peer Reviewed




Basketball is a popular sport that has been studied extensively to determine player position and game profiles and factors related to injury risk and performance. However, no research has developed or used a comprehensive field-based protocol, designed to simulate game-like effort using basketballspecific drills, for the assessment of relevant physiological outputs. The objective of this project, therefore, was to develop a repeatable basketball-specific field-based work protocol (Basketball-20) designed to simulate game-like effort and conditions for the assessment of physiological outputs in basketball athletes.


Heart rate (HR), oxygen consumption (VO2 ), and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were determined while 10 male participants performed steady state running and basketball specific drills during the Basketball-20 on 3 separate days.


Overall, the cohort performed the Basketball-20 at an average HR of 85% and average VO2 of 77% of maximum. There were no significant between-day differences in any physiological variables. Measurements for consistency (ICC R-values) and the Technical Error of Measurement (TEM) for physiological variables ranged from 0.66 to 0.98 and 1.4% to 3.6%, respectively.


It can be concluded that the Basketball-20 is: (1) physiologically relevant to the game of basketball; (2) reliable and accurate for repeated between-day measures and; (3) appropriate for testing the effects of an intervention on basketball performance across different days. A larger implication is that, because this study has established that it is possible to create a game-like, relevant and reliable protocol for testing athlete performance in a complex team sport, it is reasonable to postulate that similar protocols could be developed in a range of sports.

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