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To determine possible anthropometric and performance sex differences in a population of high school basketball players.
Measurements were collected during the first week of basketball practice before the 1995-1996 season. Varsity basketball players from 4 high schools were tested on a battery of measures chosen to detect possible anthropometric and performance sex differences.
Fifty-four female and sixty-one male subjects, from varsity basketball teams at high schools enrolled in the athletic training outreach program at the University of Wisconsin Hospital Sports Medicine Center in Madison, WI, volunteered to take part in this study.
We took anthropometric measurements on each of the 115 subjects. These included height, weight, body composition, ankle range of motion, and medial longitudinal arch type in weightbearing. Performance measures included the vertical jump, 22.86-m (25-yd) shuttle run, 18.29-m (20-yd) sprint, and single-limb balance time.
We compared anthropometric and performance characteristics using a 2-sample t test. The only exception to this was for medial longitudinal arch type, where the 2 groups were compared using a 2-tailed Fisher's exact test. The male subjects were significantly taller and heavier, while the females had a significantly higher percentage of body fat. There were no significant differences found for ankle plantar flexion and dorsiflexion, but the females had significantly more inversion and eversion range of motion. Analysis of medial longitudinal arch type found females to have a higher percentage of pronated arches and males to have a higher percentage of supinated arches. Performance testing revealed that the males were able to jump significantly higher and run the 22.86-m (25-yard) shuttle run and 18.29-m (20-yard) sprint significantly faster than the female subjects. There was no significant difference between the groups for single-limb balance time.
We found significant anthropometric and performance sex differences in a cohort of high school basketball players. Further study of these measures is necessary to determine if these differences can predict the risk for ankle injuries in this particular population.