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Improving practice and performance in basketball
Basketball is ranked in the top three team sports for participation in the Americas, Australia, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Western Pacific nations, making it one of the most popular team sports worldwide . The physical demands and high popularity of basketball present a wide range of potential applications in society. At one end, basketball may offer a vehicle to combat high inactivity rates and reduce economic health burdens for government officials and health administrators in many countries due to the popularity of the game combined with the evidence supporting recreational basketball eliciting intense physical demands with low perceptual demand . At the other end, professional basketball competitions have emerged in over 100 countries with more than 70,000 professional players globally , creating a lucrative business that provides legitimate career pathways for players and entertainment for billions of people. Despite the wide range in application, it is surprising how little research has been conducted in basketball relative to other sports. For instance, a rudimentary search on PubMed showed basketball to yield considerably less returns than other sports with a similar global reach and comparable returns to sports governed in less regions of the world (Table 1). Consequently, we sought to edit a Special Issue on “Improving Practice and Performance in Basketball” to provide a collection of studies from basketball researchers across the world and increase available evidence on pertinent topics in the sport. In total, 40 researchers from 16 institutions or professional bodies across nine countries contributed 10 studies in the Special Issue.