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Prediction of Propulsion Kinematics and Performance in Wheelchair Rugby

journal contribution
submitted on 2024-03-31, 08:51 and posted on 2024-03-31, 08:51 authored by David S. Haydon, Ross A. Pinder, Paul N. Grimshaw, William S. P. Robertson, Connor J. M. Holdback

Prediction of propulsion kinematics and performance in wheelchair sports has the potential to improve capabilities of individual wheelchair prescription while minimizing testing requirements. While propulsion predictions have been developed for daily propulsion, these have not been extended for maximal effort in wheelchair sports. A two step-approach to predicting the effects of changing set-up in wheelchair rugby was developed, consisting of: (One) predicting propulsion kinematics during a 5 m sprint by adapting an existing linkage model; and (Two) applying partial least-squares regression to wheelchair set-up, propulsion kinematics, and performance. Eight elite wheelchair rugby players completed 5 m sprints in nine wheelchair set-ups while varying seat height, seat depth, seat angle, and tire pressure. Propulsion kinematics (contact and release angles) and performance (sprint time) were measured during each sprint and used for training and assessment for both models. Results were assessed through comparison of predicted and experimental propulsion kinematics (degree differences) for Step One and performance times (seconds differences) for Step Two. Kinematic measures, in particular contact angles, were identified with mean prediction errors less than 5 degrees for 43 of 48 predictions. Performance predictions were found to reflect on-court trends for some players, while others showed weaker prediction accuracy. More detailed modeling approaches that can account for individual athlete activity limitations would likely result in improved accuracy in propulsion and performance predictions across a range of wheelchair sports. Although this would come at an increased cost, developments would provide opportunities for more suitable set-ups earlier in an athlete's career, increasing performance and reducing injury risk.

Other Information

Published in: Frontiers in Sports and Active Living
See article on publisher's website:



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Health and Life Sciences - HBKU

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