The perceptual, heart rate and technical-tactical characteristics of 3 × 3 basketball

Riley B. McGown, Nick B. Ball, Jan S. Legg, Jocelyn K. Mara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptual, heart rate and technical-tactical characteristics of elite male and female 3 × 3 basketball games. Eleven male and twenty-two female elite basketball players were monitored using heart rate telemetry, Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and video analysis across three 3 × 3 basketball tournaments. Linear mixed models were performed to determine the influence of round (pool game, quarter-final, semi-final, final, classification game) and sex on all dependent variables (alpha = 0.05). There was no difference between sexes for heart rate variables (p = 0.53 - 0.85). The greatest percentage (56.9 ± 20.1%) of game time was spent in heart rate zone 5 (90-100% peak heart rate). Overall RPE was higher in semi-finals (7.2 ± 1.5, p ≤ 0.001, ES: 1.27) and finals (7.7 ± 1.6 p ≤ 0.001, ES: 1.67) compared to pool games (5.1 ± 1.5). An analysis of the technical-tactical actions revealed that there were less steals in semi-finals (p = 0.01, ES = 0.56) and finals (p = 0.01, ES = 0.71) compared to pool games, with no sex-related differences present (p = 0.06 - 0.97). Players generally spent one minute on the bench for every three minutes on the court, creating a 3:1 work to rest ratio. Physical preparation programs for elite 3 × 3 basketball athletes should include exposure to high-intensity activity in which heart rates ≥80% of peak heart rate are reached for periods of time similar to that experienced during gameplay. A 3:1 work-to-rest ratio may be beneficial during conditioning training for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-782
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science and Coaching
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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