The current classification system in wheelchair basketball relies on subjective measures for assigning classifications to athletes, with the most important factor being trunk function. Two components of trunk function are stability and range of motion. The two proposed field tests will objectively measure these components.
The trunk stability test requires the participant to push a handheld dynamometer against a wall with and without support in three directions. The loss in force when the support is removed is calculated to give a trunk stability score (TSS).
The range of motion test is the quantification of the capability of the participant to reach outward utilizing trunk and arm. The participants reach at 3 heights and in 5 directions. The reached distances are summed to give a reach volume score (RVS).
One-hundred participants will be asked to complete these tests. Eighty participants will have a mobility impairment and twenty participants will not have a disability. The scores from the two tests will be analyzed to find groupings based on trunk function. The scores of the participants without disability will be utilized to determine normalized values for classification. During the testing, the participants will wear Xsens inertial sensors to validate the tests. The Xsens will collect kinematic data that will be utilized to evaluate movement strategies.
At the conclusion of the project, the ability of the field tests in objectively stratifying individuals with mobility impairment according to trunk function will be demonstrated. Objective stratification will allow for more equitable competition in wheelchair basketball and enhance the measures clinicians use in evaluation for seating and other assistive technology.