rss_2.0Polish Journal of Sport and Tourism FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Polish Journal of Sport and Tourism Journal of Sport and Tourism Feed of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt Graduations on the Performance of Elite Female Combat Athletes<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold><italic>Introduction.</italic></bold> In Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ), match durations are determined by belt rank according to the rules. However, a detailed understanding of the dynamics in female matches across belt levels is lacking. Gaining this insight could refine training, better meeting the needs of female athletes at each progression stage. Therefore, this study aims to conduct a comparative time-motion analysis of combat phases among elite female practitioners across different belt ranks.</p> <p><bold><italic>Material and Methods.</italic></bold> The sample was composed of White (n = 60), Blue (n = 150), Purple (n = 108), Brown (n = 56), and Black (n = 48) belts. All combats were analyzed using a BJJ time-motion protocol according to the sequential actions of the combats (i.e., approach, gripping, attack, defense, transition, guard, mount, side control, low-intensity movements, and total time), p ≤ 0.05.</p> <p><bold><italic>Results.</italic></bold> The main results indicated longer time in the black belt division vs. white and blue belts in low-intensity movements [170(63;311.6) s vs. 75.1(39.7; 201.9)s, and 93.1 (34.2; 168.7)s], defensive actions [31(10.2;76.6)s vs. 12.2(50.5; 22.4)s, and 22.4(11; 49.4)s], and approach actions [9.1(5.5;23.3)s vs. 5.2(2.5; 9.9)s, and 4.8(1; 12)s], respectively.</p> <p><bold><italic>Conclusions.</italic></bold> No effects were observed in combat-determining domain actions such as gripping, transition actions, side control, and mount, even with differences in the rules, suggesting a progressive reduction in intensity accompanying the increase in total combat time as the rank in BJJ increases.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Fitness and Motor Skills of Five-Year-Olds with Different Weight-Height Proportions<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold><italic>Introduction.</italic></bold> Along with the progress of civilization, we observe changes in the growth environment of children and youth. Lifestyle changes translate into the morphofunctional development of adolescents. The aim of the study was to show the influence of underweight and overweight on gross motor skills and physical fitness.</p> <p><bold><italic>Material and methods.</italic></bold> A total of 435 five-year-old children participated in the study. Body height and weight were measured. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated. The research material was divided into three groups: underweight, with normal BMI, and overweight. The Test of Gross Motor Development TGMD II was used to assess motor skills. Fitness was assessed with the Sekita physical fitness test for preschoolers. For all test samples, arithmetic means and standard deviation were calculated. The statistical significance of differences between the groups taking into account the size of BMI was assessed using ANOVA and the Newmann-Keuls test. Moreover, the percentage of underweight and overweight girls and boys as well as those with normal BMI was estimated. Sexual dimorphism between the groups was calculated using the χ<sup>2</sup> test.</p> <p><bold><italic>Results.</italic></bold> There were no statistically significant differences in the locomotor skills and the ability to handle sports equipment in 5-year-olds with different BMI. On the other hand, a trend of better motor skills was observed in children with normal BMI compared to their underweight and overweight peers. Such significant correlations were not found in motor skills.</p> <p><bold><italic>Conclusions.</italic></bold> It can be assumed that the 5th year of life is still too early a period in ontogenesis to search for significant correlations between motor skills, physical fitness, and body build.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Smaller Better? The Valuation of Social Impacts of Differently Sized Sporting Events. The Case of Gdańsk.<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold><italic>Introduction.</italic></bold> There is a discourse in the international literature regarding the impact of large sporting events on the place where they are held. In the last few years, particular emphasis has been laid on intangible effects, including social impacts that may occur not only in the case of mega sporting events but also in smaller sporting events. Therefore, the main aim of this paper is to estimate the monetary value of intangible social benefits of differently sized sporting events held in two sporting arenas in Gdańsk, Poland, using the contingent valuation method.</p> <p><bold><italic>Material and methods.</italic></bold> The research concerns four sporting events of various sizes organised in Gdańsk in 2012-2023. In each case, a hypothetical event scenario was used to determine the willingness to pay among the surveyed inhabitants of Gdańsk. A tobit model was used to determine the statistical relationship between the proposed monetary offers and social impacts.</p> <p><bold><italic>Results.</italic></bold> It was found that sporting events, regardless of their size, determine the occurrence of social impacts among host city residents. Even though aggregated values are lower in the case of smaller events, when added together, they constitute a higher percentage of actual public expenditure incurred on the construction of sports facilities.</p> <p><bold><italic>Conclusions.</italic></bold> By valuing intangible effects, it is possible, at least partially, to justify the spending of public funds for the organisation of sporting events. At the same time, smaller sporting events have more significant potential for host city residents than mega sporting events.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in Response Time in Elite Taekwon-Do Athletes and Wrestlers Resulting From Led Lighting Training<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold><italic>Introduction.</italic></bold> Fighting effectiveness of combat sports athletes depends, among other factors, on response time. Athletes must react swiftly to various actions of their opponents during the combat. Understanding the determinants of response time can provide valuable insights and optimize the sports training process. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of Led Lighting Training (LLT) on response time of athletes representing extremely different combat sports.</p> <p><bold><italic>Material and Methods.</italic></bold> Elite taekwon-do athletes aged 26.67 ± 7.79 years with training experience of 13.67 ± 6.75 years, and elite wrestlers aged 26.0 ± 3.74 years with training experience of 13.0 ± 3.74 years, participated in the study. Each participant performed a 6-minute physical exertion requiring concentration and proper decision-making as part of LLT. It consisted of three two-minute motor tasks performed on Batak Lite. Response time was recorded during the exercise, with one-minute breaks between motor tasks.</p> <p><bold><italic>Results.</italic></bold> Among taekwon-do athletes, the lowest level of response was noted during the first LLT task, whereas the highest was observed in the third task. Response time significantly improved with time of exertion among taekwon-do athletes, while it remained similar among wrestlers after 2, 4, and 6 minutes of the test. Only in the first round did taekwon-do athletes and wrestlers significantly differ in response time (p = 0.0025). Response time and training experience did not reveal a significant correlation.</p> <p><bold><italic>Conclusions.</italic></bold> The specificity of training, which is determined by the specificity of combat, does not differentiate elite taekwon-do athletes and wrestlers based on their response abilities. Taekwon-do athletes should control the type and duration of warm-up exercises before combat.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Task Analysis a Contributing Factor to Performance Analysis?<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold><italic>Introduction.</italic></bold> With the evolution of sport, the level of athletes is increasing. To be able to win it is necessary to understand what factors influence performance in competition and training. Sports performance analysis has evolved in accordance with data collection in competition practice, with performance indicators related to actions connected to performance outcome.</p> <p><bold><italic>Material and Methods.</italic></bold> We intend to verify the importance of task analysis in the performance analysis procedures. The review starts with task definition, then task analysis procedures and sports science application to finish with examples of performance analysis with task analysis.</p> <p><bold><italic>Results.</italic></bold> Each task has one or more goals with actions to be carried out and with task, performer, and environment constraints that influence it. Task analysis is a methodology to have information about technique, productivity and safety that allows developing training programmes. Sports task analysis has a preparatory phase, a description (phase analysis), assessment, and an intervention. Performance analysis was based on biomechanical and notational analysis including performance indicators and afterwards reinforced with the ecological dynamics approach with an emphasis on the performer-environment relationship. Similarities between actions from different sports could be observed with performance analysis using task analysis (phase analysis with description of the segmental actions and mechanical principles).</p> <p><bold><italic>Conclusions.</italic></bold> Performance task analysis could support evidence-based training programmes with a replication of key features and performance indicators in dry-land training tasks. Future research should identify task constraints and performance indicators with technological devices and make performance analysis more coach friendly.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Effectiveness of Physical Education Classes Through Collaborative Learning Methods for the Physical Development of 11th-Grade Students in Vietnam<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold><italic>Introduction.</italic></bold> Collaborative Learning (CL) is a group learning method that involves mutual support and assistance among individual students to achieve learning goals. The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness of a 14-week Physical Education (PE) class using the CL method in enhancing the physical development of 11th-grade students.</p> <p><bold><italic>Material and Methods.</italic></bold> Eighty healthy students were randomly selected and divided into two groups: the experimental group with 40 students applying the CL method in PE classes, and the control group with 40 students studying PE using conventional methods. In this study, five fitness tests were used such as a 30-s sit-up test, a 30-m sprint test, a 4 × 10-m shuttle run test, a standing long jump test, and a 5-min running field test.</p> <p><bold><italic>Results.</italic></bold> After 14 weeks of experimentation, independent t-test results indicated a significant difference in the mean values between the experimental and control groups at the threshold of p &lt; 0.05. Paired t-test results for the mean values before and after the experiment in both groups also showed a difference, with the physical fitness growth rate of the experimental group being higher than that of the control group. Particularly, the control group exhibited a post-experiment value that had a negative significance.</p> <p><bold><italic>Conclusions.</italic></bold> This demonstrates that the experimental results serve as an illustration, confirming the effectiveness of the CL method in high school PE classes. Teachers should enhance the use of CL in the future to achieve higher learning goals.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Results About More Accurate Versus Less Accurate Trials: Differential Effects on Psychological Variables and Motor Learning in Adolescent Females<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold><italic>Introduction.</italic></bold> The primary purpose of the present study was to investigate whether providing knowledge of results (KR) on more accurate trials enhanced motivation and self-confidence or whether providing KR on less accurate trials reduced those variables. We also investigated whether anxiety was affected by the provision of feedback.</p> <p><bold><italic>Material and Methods.</italic></bold> Participants performed a volleyball serve over four days of practice under one of two conditions: After each block of six trials, one group received feedback on the three most accurate (MA) trials, whereas the other group received feedback on the three least accurate (LA) trials. One week following practice, participants performed a retention test without feedback. Participants also completed the intrinsic motivation inventory (IMI) and the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI2).</p> <p><bold><italic>Results.</italic></bold> Results indicated that the MA group had more effective learning as well as higher motivation and self-confidence scores than the LA group. Additionally, the MA group had lower scores on cognitive and somatic anxiety compared to the LA group. The MA group had higher motivation and self-confidence scores and lower anxiety compared to the values reported on the pre-test. Conversely, the LA group had lower motivation and self-confidence scores relative to the pre-test values, and tended to have increased cognitive and somatic anxiety following practice.</p> <p><bold><italic>Conclusions.</italic></bold> The results of this study demonstrate that providing augmented feedback about more accurate trials facilitates motor learning and increases motivation and self-confidence whilst lowering levels of somatic anxiety.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Physical Activity and Quality of Life Among Older Adults<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> Low physical activity, transition to retirement and unfavorable socio-economic changes may significantly reduce the quality of life of older people. The increasing average life expectancy of the population requires measures intended to promote physical activity among the elderly in order to improve their quality of life. The aim of the research was to determine the relationship between exercise intensity and the quality of life in U3A students over 60 years of age.</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and methods.</bold></italic> A diagnostic survey was applied in the research. The following research tools were used: WHOQOL-BREF Questionnaire to assess the quality of life, Minnesota Questionnaire (MLTPAQ) to test the intensity level of physical activity, and the authors’ own questionnaire. The study involved 673 individuals over 60 years of age from the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Region in Poland.</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> People who took low-intensity exercise more often were more satisfied with life and health. Likewise, they had higher quality of life assessments in the physical, psychological and environmental context in comparison with those who were not sporty. Individuals who went in for moderate physical effort more often assessed their quality of life better in the social area. Respondents who engaged in intense physical activities valued the quality of life in physical, psychological and environmental domains higher.</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> The positive influence of regular exercise on the quality of life requires further promotion of this activity, health education, and extension, diversification and adjustment of the offer of sports activities to the needs and capabilities of the elderly.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Active Break with Guided Dance in University Classes<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> In general, during the theoretical content taught in different educational stages, students are seated for several hours and expository methods are used by the teacher. Under these conditions, emotions such as anxiety, boredom and loss of attention may appear. To improve this situation, several studies have shown that active breaks (AB) in class are a good option. Therefore, this research aims to evaluate the effect of AB with dance in the classroom on the emotional state and attention level of university students.</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and methods.</bold></italic> A crossover design was employed where the type of rest (active vs. passive) was compared in two class groups for a total of 68 students (age 20.7 ± 1.7 years, 50% female). The variables studied were the level of attention and emotional state, assessed using the d2 test and the mood rating scale (EVEA). A multilevel linear model was applied and Cohen’s d was calculated for the statistical analysis.</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> Although there was an improvement in the level of attention with the implementation of AB with dance (p &gt; 0.05, |d| = 0.15-0.28), this was not significant. In the emotional state, a decrease in the level of sadness was found (p &gt; 0.05; d = - 0.16) without statistical significance.</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> The application of AB with dance in the classroom provides a way to increase students’ physical activity levels without negatively affecting the level of attention. Further studies with theoretical classes of longer duration and in a longer intervention period could provide new data on the benefits of AB with dance.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Analysis of Rearfoot Loading of Patients After Medial Patellofemoral Ligament (MPFL) Reconstruction<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> Patellar instability in younger patients is a common injury (3.3% of all knee injury episodes) and the most frequent dislocation of the knee observed. The sensitivity and reliability of clinical diagnostic tests after medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) reconstruction remain unclear and biased. The primary aim of the present study was thus to detect, using wavelet analysis, differences in the rearfoot loading of the operated limb of patients after MPFL reconstruction. The authors hypothesised that applying this specific examination technique would allow for more accurate and less biased clinical results evaluation.</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and Methods.</bold></italic> The study involved a group of 15 female subjects (age: 22.8 ± 6.3 years; weight: 58.5 ± 5.1 kg) after MPFL reconstruction and a control group of 29 healthy females (23.2 ± 2.8 years; 61.1 ± 7.7 kg). The subjects performed a 30-second classic Romberg test on a treadmill (Noraxon FDN-T) equipped with a matrix of baroresistive sensors to measure ground reaction forces. Time-frequency analysis of the signal originating from the treadmill was done using an analytic Morse wavelet.</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> The results indicate differences in visual control and vestibular stability in patients before and 3 months after a surgery. They are characterised by a deficit of energy attributed to visual control in favour of an excess of energy associated with vestibular control. Patellar instability patients show greater energy expenditure to maintain body balance for at least 6 months after MPFL reconstruction.</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> Patellar instability patients have increased vestibular control while maintaining balance. Our results suggest an extended rehabilitation period for patients after MPFL reconstruction beyond 6 months.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Balance and Muscle Strength of Upper and Lower Limbs in Rock Climbers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of bouldering on upper and lower limb muscle strength and body balance.</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and Methods.</bold></italic> The study group consisted of 22 climbers (aged 27.23 ± 4.81) with at least 2 years of bouldering experience, while the control group consisted of 20 men (aged 23.10 ± 5.28) not practicing rock climbing. The study received approval from the local bioethical commission in Poland. Static and dynamic stabilographic parameters were measured with eyes open (EO) and closed (EC) on the Biodex Balance System SD USA (BBS) platform. Subsequently, the maximum muscle torques of the elbow, hip, knee and ankle joints were measured in isometric conditions. Hand-grip strength (HGS) with and without the thumb was assessed using a handheld dynamometer.</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> Climbers achieved significantly higher values of HGS with the thumb of both hands (p &lt; 0.005), foot extensors strength (FES) in both limbs (p &lt; 0.05) and left hip extensors (HES L) (p &lt; 0.05). They also achieved significantly lower values of all stabilographic parameters, indicating better balance compared to the control group (p &lt; 0.05). An interaction of HES x SIDE across the groups was observed (F(1,40) = 13.588, p &lt; 0.001 η2 = 0.254). Moreover, there was a statistically significant negative correlation of ankle extensors strength with medial-lateral stability index (MLSI EC) (right: r = -0.418; left: r = -0.331) and fall risk index (FRI6-2) (right: r = -0.520; left: r = -0.435).</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> Regular climbing training develops muscle strength, especially FES, HES, HGS, and improves balance. Climbing can be used for prevention of muscle weakness and equilibrium disorders.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) Supplementation on Body Composition and Blood Health Indices in Professional Wrestlers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> The purpose of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to evaluate the effect of ashwagandha supplementation on the body composition, blood health and recovery indices, as well as the safety of ashwagandha supplementation in wrestling.</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and Methods.</bold></italic> To investigate this, body composition (using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry; DEXA) and blood parameters as indicators of athletes’ health status (i.e., hematology, liver, kidney and muscle tissue function, lipid profile) were measured before and after 8-week supplementation with ashwagandha extract (600 mg/day) in professional national team wrestlers following an intensive training plan (as part of an annual training cycle).</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> At the end of the study, there was a significant increase in fat-free mass and muscle mass, with a significant decrease in fat mass (both in absolute and relative terms) in both ashwagandha and placebo groups (main effect of time, p &lt; 0.05). However, ashwagandha supplementation did not affect any of the body composition parameters (main effect of group or interaction of time and group, p &gt; 0.05). Moreover, intense wrestling training induced an increase in blood creatine kinase activity as an indicator of muscle tissue damage (main effect of time, p &lt; 0.05). Ashwagandha supplementation did not significantly affect any hematological or biochemical blood parameters (p &gt; 0.05 for main effect of group and interaction of time and group). However, the increase in creatine kinase activity during the study seemed to be more pronounced in the placebo group (post-hoc; p &lt; 0.05) than in the ashwagandha group (post-hoc; p &gt; 0.05).</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> In conclusion, ashwagandha supplementation at 600 mg daily for 8 weeks is well tolerated and safe for professional wrestlers. This strategy does not appear to offer additional body composition benefits beyond the effect of intense wrestling training. On the other hand, our results indicate some potential for ashwagandha in improving muscle tissue recovery, which needs to be confirmed on a larger population of athletes.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in the Himalayas: A Comprehensive Analysis Through a Literature Review and Research Profiling<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> The article aims to analyse the current state of knowledge about mountaineering in the Himalayas through a systematic literature review.</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and Methods.</bold></italic> For this purpose, the following research questions were formulated: Which journals publish the most studies concerning the Himalayas and which authors make significant contributors to this area of research? What are the dominant research themes, and how have they changed over the years? What factors contribute to success and deaths in Himalayan mountaineering? The study is based on a mapping review of publications from the Scopus, Web of Science, EBSCO and Google Scholar databases with research profiling and co-word analysis using VOSviewer. In total, 189 articles selected for review were subjected to automatic content analysis (text mining, clustering) in the VOSviewer program to produce a self-organising map of keywords, grouped into four thematic areas: (1) tourism management, geo-ecology and local community; (2) psychology, anthropology and risk of high altitude physical activity; (3) acclimatisation, hypoxia pathophysiology; and (4) altitude and acute disease, brain and pulmonary oedema.</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> In the qualitative phase of the analysis, success and failure factors in Himalayan mountaineering were identified. It can be concluded that it is becoming safer and more common for climbers to reach the summit and such achievements are more accessible to women and older people.</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> Safety increases can be attributed to the obligatory use of oxygen by mountain guides, better infrastructure on the trail (two-way system of lifelines), more reliable weather forecasts, and the assistance of experienced leaders.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Profile of Youth Sport Climbers: A Preliminary Investigation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> Lipid profile is one of the main determinants of cardiovascular health status. Moderate and vigorous physical activity can positively influence lipid profile, and one such activity is sport climbing. The main aim of this study was to determine the lipid profile and to investigate the influence of training experience on the lipid profile of youth climbers.</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and Methods.</bold></italic> This research included 12 youth climbers aged 15.33 ± 1.30 years (6 males, 6 females), who were tested on anthropo-metric indices and lipid profile (total cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins, low-density lipoproteins, triglycerides) using the point-of-care testing. Variables of lipid profile were correlated with years of climbing experience by Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients, while the differences between females and males were checked by the Mann-Whitney U test.</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> Youth climbers had acceptable levels of all measured lipid parameters. Training experience was significantly positively correlated with body mass index (R = 0.76, p &lt; 0.01) and significantly negatively correlated with cholesterol (R = -0.80, p &lt; 0.01).</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> Results support that climbing as a vigorous and enjoyable physical activity might be advertised as a proxy for reaching recommended amounts of physical activity among adolescents, which is associated with improved lipid profile. However, this is only a preliminary investigation advocating that determinants of health status related to climbing practice should be further investigated.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Six-Week Pre-Season Complex Contrast Training Intervention on Male Soccer Players’ Athletic Performance<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> This study aimed to investigate the effects of a six-week complex contrast training (CCT) intervention on the athletic performance of highly-trained amateur male soccer players during the pre-season period.</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and Methods.</bold></italic> Participants aged 21.3 were randomized to CCT (n = 7) or active (i.e. standard soccer training) control (CG; n = 9) groups. Athletic performance was assessed using the 30 m linear sprint test time, standing long jump distance (SLJ), countermovement jump (CMJ) height, and unilateral right-left knee flexion and extension isokinetic maximal strength tests. The experimental group replaced part of the standard soccer training schedule with three CCT sessions per week for six weeks. A two (pre-post intervention) by two (CCT, CG) mixed ANOVA was used to analyze the exercise-specific effects. In addition, between-group comparisons at post-test were conducted with baseline scores as covariate. Within group changes were analyzed using paired t-test.</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> Significant group-by-time interaction effects were found for all dependent variables (p &lt; 0.001 – 0.004). Post-hoc tests using paired t-test revealed significant improvements in all dependent variables in CCT (all p ≤ 0.001; effect size (g) = 0.29 – 0.96; %Δ = 4.5 – 14.7), but not in CG (p = 0.174 – 0.633; g = 0.03 – 0.20; %Δ = 0.4 – 2.6). Further, Bonferroni adjusted post-hoc analysis using baseline scores as a covariate showed post-test differences in favor of CCT compared to CG for all variables.</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> CCT is recommended as an effective training strategy during the pre-season to improve athletic performance among highly-trained amateur male soccer players.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Hockey Players Using Andersen and Petersen's Super-Efficiency Model: Who is the Best Czech Hockey Player in the NHL?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> The aim of this article is to measure and assess the efficiency of Czech hockey players in the NHL, to create a ranking, and to reveal the best Czech hockey players in the NHL.</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and methods.</bold></italic> The methodology is based on data envelopment analysis (DEA), namely a basic input-oriented model with constant returns to scale and an advanced Andersen and Petersen's model. Using the Andersen and Petersen's model, a ranking of the best Czech forwards, defenders, and goalkeepers was created based on the super-efficiency scores. DEA models worked with several variables and allowed for greater objectivity to be incorporated into the rankings. The input variable chosen was the number of seasons played. The output variables included the number of games played, the number of minutes played, the number of goals, the number of assists, save percentage, and the number of Stanley Cups won.</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> The research named Jaromír Jágr, Jan Rutta, and Pavel Francouz as the best Czech forward, defender and goalkeeper in the NHL in terms of technical efficiency.</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> The ranking of hockey players based on super-efficiency scores revealed, among other things, that hockey players with a high number of seasons, games played or goals scored are not necessarily technically efficient.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Union Funds as Stimulators of Sustainable Tourism Development in Municipalities of the Lower Silesian Region in Poland in 2014-2019<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> The study assessed the impact of EU funds on sustainable tourism in the Lower Silesian region of Poland in the years 2014-2019.</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and methods.</bold></italic> A literature review and the following research methods were used in the study: logical analysis and construction, as well as documentary and statistical analyses. A database was compiled containing statistical data on implemented tourism projects subsidized with EU funds in municipalities of Lower Silesia. Each project was then assigned to one of sustainable tourism sections in accordance with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Destination Criteria. Statistical analysis included structure analysis, basic statistics, and the Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA test and post-hoc test.</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> The Kruskal-Wallis test results (H = 20.01 for project values, and H = 23.34 for the amount of EU funding) and the probability level (p = 0.001) demonstrated that project expenditures on tourism in each sustainable tourism section differed significantly. The multiple comparisons test (post-hoc test) revealed statistically significant differences between the values of projects implemented in the sections of cultural sustainability and sustainable management (p = 0.009), cultural sustainability and environmental sustainability (p = 0.009), socio-economic sustainability and sustainable management (p = 0.009), and socio-economic sustainability and environmental sustainability (p = 0.008). In terms of the amount of EU funding, statistically significant differences were found between cultural sustainability and environmental sustainability (p = 0.001), and socio-economic sustainability and environmental sustainability (p = 0.001).</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> The allocation of EU funds for tourism projects did not contribute to the implementation of sustainable tourism. In the next EU programming period, i.e. 2021-2027, a more sustainable allocation of funds for tourism projects should be pursued. There is a clear need to increase the number and value of tourism projects implemented in the area of environmental sustainability.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Gatekeeping in Sports News During Prime Time Television in a Public Broadcaster<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> Based on Shoemaker's model of gatekeeping, this study addresses two questions: What social representations of sports are promoted by the prime time news program of the public television broadcaster Radio Televisão Portuguesa (RTP)? How do editors assess sports news stories during the editorial decision-making process?</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and Methods.</bold></italic> For this, we quantitatively examined all the sports content in the prime time ‘Telejornal’ daily news program of RTP during a trimester. Moreover, we studied the factors that influenced editorial decisions, by conducting naturalistic participant observation and semi-structured interviews.</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> Results indicate that facts of greater public protagonism, which cause a significant emotional reaction and are relatable to the public, are more newsworthy. The main constraints influencing the editorial decisions were organized in three co-dependent areas: Social System (macro level), RTP Organization (meso level) and Telejornal Newsroom (micro level).</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> Findings contribute to a reduction in social stereotypes created by television broadcasters, and to sports actors optimizing their communication strategy.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Cross-Cultural Differences in Fundamental Motor Skills Proficiency Between Polish and Latvian Children<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> Fundamental motor skills (FMS) are a critical component of success in various sports and lifelong physical activity (PA). This study aimed to evaluate and compare the FMS proficiency levels of 7-9-year-old children from Poland and Latvia, providing insights into the current state of motor competence in these populations.</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and Methods.</bold></italic> A cross-sectional study design was utilized, incorporating a sample of 163 boys and girls. The FUS test (Fundamental Motor Skills in Sport), a comprehensive, qualitative, and process-oriented assessment tool was used to assess FMS. The FUS test encompassed a range of movement tasks, including hurdles, jumping rope, forward roll, ball bouncing, ball throwing and catching, and kicking and stopping a ball that allows for a thorough evaluation of FMS proficiency.</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> The study revealed alarmingly low FMS proficiency levels in both countries, with 93.3% of students displaying ‘insufficient FMS proficiency’. The Mann-Whitney U test showed that Latvian boys outperformed their Polish peers in jumping rope and forward roll (p &lt; 0.05), while Polish boys exhibited superior results in kicking and stopping a ball (p &lt; 0.05). In contrast, Polish girls achieved significantly higher scores in hurdles and kicking and stopping a ball (p &lt; 0.05) compared to Latvian girls, who scored higher in jumping rope (p &lt; 0.05).</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> These findings highlight the urgent need for effective, evidence-based interventions to improve motor competence in both countries, emphasizing the importance of incorporating FMS development into physical education curricula and promoting regular PA for children.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of COVID-19 on Maintaining Balance in Highly Skilled Handball Players<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic><bold>Introduction.</bold></italic> The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of COVID-19 on maintaining balance in highly skilled handball players during the performance of the modified Romberg test.</p> <p><italic><bold>Material and Methods.</bold></italic> As part of a larger investigation that was initiated in 2019, twelve professional handball players were recruited to participate in a study that was designed to measure static balance performance. Following the initial pre-test, six participants (body height 184.8 ± 4.7 cm; body weight 85.5 ± 3.3 kg; age 21.3 ± 1.2 years) contracted COVID-19. The remaining six participants (body height 188.7 ± 2.6 cm; body weight 92.3 ± 3.7 kg; age 26.3 ± 3.3 years) never tested positive for COVID-19 and pre-sumably were not infected with the virus. The experimental design required all participants to complete an initial balance assessment (pre-test) and a later balance assessment (post-test). To fully analyze our data, we conducted a 2 (condition: COVID, no-COVID) X 2 (test: pre-test, post-test) ANOVA with repeated measures on the second factor.</p> <p><italic><bold>Results.</bold></italic> Our research results showed that the skilled handball players who contracted COVID-19 mani-fested a significant decrease in balance performance from the pre-test which occurred prior to being infected with COVID-19 relative to the post-test which occurred following the COVID-19 infection.</p> <p><italic><bold>Conclusions.</bold></italic> In conclusion, the results we have reported here are the first to show an objectively measured association between COVID-19 and the ability to maintain balance. Further intensive multifaceted research on this issue is needed.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue