Use of Low Compression Balls in Wheelchair Tennis
Dr. Laurie Malone
This past summer Lakeshore’s research department hosted Dr. Vicky Tolfrey, Paul Sindall and John Lenton, members of the Sport Science team from the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport (PHC) at Loughborough University for a collaborative research project comparing physiological and court-based movement data during wheelchair tennis matchplay, using regular tennis balls versus low compression balls.
|A young wheelchair tennis player and his coach|
In order to reduce the impact of prior tennis skill, the researchers recruited skilled wheelchair users with no prior tennis experience. With the help of Paralympic tennis player, Dr. Scott Douglas, the researchers recruited 12 college-level wheelchair basketball players to participate in the study. Each player took part in a series of competitive matches while heart rate and court movement variables such as distance and speed were measured. The submaximal and peak physiological profile of each individual was also measured in order to subsequently make estimations of actual exercise intensity during match play. Data is being analyzed and results will be available on the NCHPAD website in the next month.
The collaborative research team from Lakeshore and the PHC at Loughborough University thanks Mark Bullock from the ITF for supporting this project and for supplying tennis equipment for matchplay, Dr. Scott Douglas for support and assistance, Professor Rory Cooper and Shiv Hiremath for their technical guidance, and the students from the University of Alabama who participated in testing.