The main aim of the thesis produced by Maite Fuentes was to find out what the perception of exertion is of young mini-basketball players, girls and boys, while they are competing. Fuentes is the Dean of the Faculty of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences of the UPV/EHU University of the Basque Country and says that mini-basketball rules are not unified and that "each autonomous community region has its own rules. "However, the rules need to be unified and, "for that purpose it would be very useful to know the extent to which the players experience exertion."
With this aim in mind, she studied the players participating in the last round of the Gipuzkoa Youth Championships; a total of 150 youngsters, 67 boys and 83 girls. Fuentes believes it is important to look after the children in these early stages, because the experiences they go through could have a tremendous influence on the way they may subsequently develop in the sport.
So to measure the perception of exertion that these players have, she has used the Eston-Parffit pictorial scale, "because it is accessible, easy to use and effective, and because it has been adapted to children," as Fuentes points out.
Winning or losing is not the same thing
She conducted her data gathering during the Last Round of the Gipuzkoa Championships; over three consecutive weekends in May, 2010, in the girls' and boys' quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. At the end of each half of the matches the mini-basketball players had to indicate how tired they felt (RPE-Rated Perceived Exertion). That way Fuentes obtained the RPEin terms of time played as well as the average RPE per match.
According to what the players indicated, on average what they feel is between moderate exertion and great exertion, and there was no obvious difference between girls and boys. However, there is a difference in the perceived exertion depending on whether the match had been won or lost: the RPE w
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