Cognitive Development and Decision Making in Basketball: A Comparison between Male Players with and without Intellectual Impairment and across Different Age-Groups
(Javier Pinilla-Arbex, Javier Pérez-Tejero, Debbie Van Biesen, Ignacio Polo, Luc Janssens, Yves Vanlandewijck)

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Javier Pinilla-Arbex, Javier Pérez-Tejero, Debbie Van Biesen, Ignacio Polo, Luc Janssens, Yves Vanlandewijck

The aim of this study was to investigate the role of age and intellectual impairment (II) in decision-making in basketball. The current study investigated differences in decision making between equally well-trained adult basketball male players with intellectual impairment (players with II) (n = 93), adults without II (senior) (n = 44) and youth basketball players (under-14, n = 31; under-16, n = 25; under-18, n = 30). A computer test was developed composed by 20 photographs displaying various basketball game-situations, and participants had to decide as fast as possible what the player in ball possession should do: dribble, pass or shoot. Decision time and accuracy were recorded for every situation. Players with II had slower decision time (3.8 ± 1.8 s vs. 1.5 ± 0.5 s, p < 0.001) and less decision-making accuracy (15.7 ± 2.8 correct decisions vs. 17.9 ± 1.2 correct decisions, p < 0.001) compared to senior players without II. Discriminant analysis with speed and accuracy as independent variables classified 91.2% (CCA = 0.769) of the players correctly into their group: players with II or players without II. A Spearman correlation revealed that age correlated significantly (p < 0.001) with the number of correct decisions (rs = 0.269) and mean decision time (rs = −0.331). Our findings support that decision making in basketball develops with age and experience, but is significantly deteriorated in experienced adult players who have II. Decision-making should be considered as an important eligibility criterion to participate in competitive basketball events for male players with II.
DOI: 10.5114/jhk/185430
Key words
disability, performance, Paralympic, team sport,

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