ISSN 2079-6617
eISSN 2309-9828
Basic characteristics of postural balance of professional hockey players and novices

Basic characteristics of postural balance of professional hockey players and novices

PDF (Rus)

Recieved: 03/23/2022

Accepted: 05/16/2022

Published: 06/22/2022

Keywords: hockey, virtual reality, VR, posture, hockey stance, postural balance, motion analysis, positional tracking.

p.: 65-79

DOI: 10.11621/npj.2022.0207

Available online: 22.06.2022

To cite this article:

Leonov, S.V. , Anna P. Kruchinina, Bugriy Grigory S. , Natalia I. Bulaeva, Irina S. Polikanova. Basic characteristics of postural balance of professional hockey players and novices. // National Psychological Journal 2022. 2. p.65-79. doi: 10.11621/npj.2022.0207

Copied to Clipboard

Issue 2, 2022

Leonov, S.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University

Anna P. Kruchinina Lomonosov Moscow State University

Bugriy Grigory S. Lomonosov Moscow State University

Natalia I. Bulaeva Lomonosov Moscow State University

Irina S. Polikanova HSE University, Lomonosov Moscow State University


Background. Stance (or posture) is the fundamental posture of a hockey player, allowing him to perform various movements during training and playing processes. However, studies of postural balance of hockey players are scarce. 

Objective. The main aim of the study was to track a hockey player’s posture as well as to compare static postural characteristics of professional hockey players and novices. 

Sample. The study involved 22 male subjects (mean age 20±2.3 years), including 13 hockey players and 9 subjects who were new to hockey (mainly freestyle wrestlers). The professional level was assessed by the number of years of experience and by the presence of sports ranks. The average experience was 14.18±3.8 years. The sports ranks ranged from third junior category to Candidate Master. 

Method. A method for tracking the posture of a hockey player using the DTrack2 and SteamVR Tracking 2.0 systems was tested. The obtained results made it possible to compare the static characteristics of the stance in professional hockey players and novices based on the analysis of changes in the knee and hip joint angles, as well as changes in the position of the head during performing the task of maintaining the stand for 5 minutes (Leonov, Polikanova, Kruchinina et al., 2021). 

Results. Analysis of movements with the DTrack2 system and the SteamVR Tracking 2.0 system showed identical results, allowing further use of the SteamVR Tracking 2.0 system. Analysis of the positional tracking data showed that professional hockey players were characterized by a greater amplitude of oscillation (1–2 degrees) than novices (no more than 1 degree) when maintaining their stance. Professional hockey players are also characterized by a significantly smaller amplitude of oscillation of the head position during performance of tasks. Qualitative analysis of changes in angles of knee and hip joints showed that professional hockey players, in contrast to beginners, have a higher and more stable amplitude of movement parameters fluctuations during the whole study, which in turn allows to optimize energy expenditure and provide better posture stabilization. 

Conclusions. Thus, the results of the study indicate the importance of correct head positioning in stabilizing the postural balance of a hockey player. For posture maintenance, the hip strategy of postural balance maintenance, associated with a greater amplitude of hip joint oscillation, is the most optimal. 

Funding. Research supported by the support of the Russian Science Foundation, project No 19-78-10134.


Bukatin, A.Yu., & Peregudov, Yu.N. (1985). Initial training in skating technique. Khokkei: Ezhegodnik (Hockey: Yearbook), 43–49. (In Russ.). 

Vinarskaya, E.N., & Firsov, G.I. (2018). Analysis of the role of kinesthetic sensitivity in controlling the statics of vertical human body posture. Zdorov’e — osnova chelovecheskogo potentsiala: problemy i puti ikh resheniya (Health-the basis of human potential: problems and solutions), 13 (2), 1001–1011. (In Russ.). 

Gribanov, A.V., & Sherstennikova, A.K. (2013). Physiological mechanisms of regulation of human postural balance (review). Zhurnal mediko-biologicheskikh issledovanii (Journal of biomedical research), (4), 20–29. (In Russ.). 

Grokhovskii, S.S., & Kubryak, O.V. (2018). A method for integral assessment of human posture regulation efficiency. Meditsinskaya tekhnika (Medical Engineering), 2, 49–52. (In Russ.). 

Deniskina, N.V. (2009). Frontal’naya ustojchivost’ vertikal’noj pozy cheloveka: Diss. ... kand. biol. nauk. (Frontal stability of human upright posture: dissertation). Ph.D. (Biology). Moscow. (In Russ.). 

Kubryak, O.V. (2017). Sistemnye mekhanizmy regulyatsii stabil’nosti i upravlyaemosti vertikal’noi pozy cheloveka: diss. ... doct. psikhol. nauk. (System mechanisms of regulation of stability and controllability of human upright posture). Doctoral dissertation (Biology). Moscow. (In Russ.). 

Lashkul, A.S., & Fedorova, M.Yu. (2020). Methodological peculiarities of teaching motor action technique to young ice hockey goalkeepers at the initial stage of training. Proceedings of the All-Russian Scientific and Practical Conference “Optimization of educational and training process in educational institutions of higher education. Healthy Lifestyle as a Factor of Drug Abuse Prevention”, (pp. 161–166). Krasnoyarsk. (In Russ.). 

Leonov, S.V., Polikanova, I.S., Kruchinina, A.P., Bugrii, G.S., Bulaeva, N.I., & Sukhochev, P.Yu. (2021). Comparison of postural balance in professional hockey players and novices. Cognitive Neuroscience, (pp. 140–144). Ekaterinburg. (In Russ.). 

Leonov, S.V., Polikanova, I.S., Chertopolokhov, V.A., & Belousova, M.D. (2020). Formation of professional skill of hockey players by means of virtual reality. Human abilities and mental resources in a world of global, p. 1471. (In Russ.). 

Mel’nikov, I.V. (2013). Technical training of a hockey player. (Retrieved from (data review date: 27.04.2022). (In Russ.). 

Polikanova, I.S., Leonov, S.V., Sukhochev, P.Yu., Bugrii, G.S., Kruchinina, A.P. (2020). The use of virtual reality technologies to train hockey players of different skill levels. Proceedings of IV All-Russian Scientific-Practical Conference with international participation on Sports Science: “Preparation of Sports Reserve”, (pp. 349–356). (In Russ.). 

Ryabina, K.E., & Isaev, A.P. (2015). Biomechanics of upright posture maintenance (review of models of balance maintenance). Chelovek. Sport. Meditsina (Man. Sport. Medicine), 15 (4), 93–98. (In Russ.). 

Savin, V.P. (2003). Theory and Methodology of Hockey: textbook for students of higher education institutions. M.: Akademiya. (In Russ.). 

Terekhov, A.V., Levik, Yu.S., & Solopova, I.A. (2007). Mechanisms of reference position correction in the vertical posture regulation system. Fiziologiya cheloveka (Human Physiology), 33 (3), 40–47. (In Russ.). 

Alpini, D., Hahn, A., & Riva, D. (2008). Static and dynamic postural control adaptations induced by playing ice hockey. Sport Sciences for Health, 2 (3), 85–92. 

Azraai, N.Z., Soh, A.A.S.A., & Jafri, M.Z.M. (2017). Power estimation of martial arts movement using 3D motion capture camera. Digital Optical Technologies, 10335, 103351T. 

Babic, T., Reiterer, H., & Haller, M. (2018). Pocket: A 6DoF Controller Based On A Simple Smartphone Application. Proceedings of the Symposium on Spatial User Interaction, 2–10. 

Behan, B. (2020). Swiss National League Goalie Analysis. SSRN. Electronic Journal. 

Best VR Gloves. (Retrieved from (review date: 10.05.2021). 

Blanár, M., Broďáni, J., Czaková, M., & Kováčová, N. (2020). Dependence of the skating and running performance on the explosive strength of lower limbs and dynamic balance of ice hockey players. Sport Science, 1 (12), 16–22. 

Boileau, R., Horswill, C. (2000). Exercise and Sport Science. In William E. Garrett Jr. and Donald T. Kirkendall (Eds.). Philadel- phia: Lippincott William & Wilkins. 

Bracko, M.R. (2004). Biomechanics powers ice hockey performance. Biomechanics, 9, 47–53. 

Bracko, M.R., Fellingham, G.W., Hall, L.T., Fisher, A.G., & Cryer, W. (1998). Performance skating characteristics of professional ice hockey forwards. Sports Medicine, Training and Rehabilitation, 8 (3), 251–263. 

Čech, P. (2015). Effect of Short Term Balance Training on Postural Stability in Ice Hockey Players. Auc kinanthropologica, 50 (2), 13–20. 

Yard, E.E., & Comstock, R.D. (2006). Injuries sustained by pediatric ice hockey, lacrosse, and field hockey athletes presenting to United States emergency departments, 1990–2003. Journal of athletic training, 41 (4), 441–449. 

Fait, P.E., McFadyen, B.J., Reed, N., Zabjek, K., Taha, T., & Keightley, M. (2011). Increasing Task Complexity and ICE Hockey Skills of Youth Athletes. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 112 (1), 29–43. 

Fortier, A., Turcotte, R.A., & Pearsall, D.J. (2014). Skating mechanics of change-of-direction manoeuvres in ice hockey players. Sports Biomechanics, 13 (4), 341–350. 

Kruchinina, A.P., Latonov, V.V., & Chertopolokhov, V.A. (2019). Review of Visual Imitation Technologies in Simulation Systems. Manned spaceflight, 3 (32), 89–107. 

Lafontaine, D. (2007). Three-dimensional kinematics of the knee and ankle joints for three consecutive push-offs during ice hockey skating starts. Sports Biomechanics, 6 (3), 391–406. 

Ledebt, A., Wiener-Vacher, S. (1996). Head coordination in the sagittal plane in toddlers during walking: preliminary results. Brain Res Bull, 40 (5–6), 371–373. 

Lin, B.-S., Lee, I.-J., Yang, S.-Y., Lo, Y.-C., Lee, J., & Chen, J.-L. (2018). Design of an Inertial-Sensor-Based Data Glove for Hand Function Evaluation. Sensors, 18 (5), 1545. 

Maereg, A., Secco, E., Agidew, T., Reid, D., & Nagar, A. (2017). A Low-Cost, Wearable Opto-Inertial 6-DOF Hand Pose Tracking System for VR. Technologies, 5 (3), 49. 

Majcen Rosker, Z., Kristjansson, E., Vodicar, M., & Rosker, J. (2021). Postural balance and oculomotor control are influenced by neck kinaesthetic functions in elite ice hockey players. Gait & Posture, 85, 145–150. 

Mann, D.T.Y., Williams, A.M., Ward, P., & Janelle, C.M. (2007). Perceptual-Cognitive Expertise in Sport: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 29 (4), 457–478. 

Marino, G.W. (1977). Kinematics of Ice Skating at Different Velocities. Research Quarterly. American Alliance for Health. Physical Education and Recreation, 48 (1), 93–97. 

Massion, J. (1992). Movement, posture and equilibrium: Interaction and coordination. Progress in Neurobiology, 38 (1), 35–56. 

Massion, J. (1998). Postural Control Systems in Developmental Perspective. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 22 (4), 465– 472. 

Buns, M. (2020). Impact of Virtual RealityTraining on Real-World Hockey Skill: An Intervention Trial. Journal of Sports Science, 8 (1). 

McCaw, S.T., & Hoshizaki, T.B. (1987). A kinematic comparison of novice, intermediate, and elite ice skaters. Biomechanics XB, 637–642. 

Montgomery, D.L. (1988). Physiology of Ice Hockey. Sports Medicine, 5 (2), 99–126. 

Morris-Binelli, K., Müller, S., van Rens, F.E.C.A., Harbaugh, A.G., & Rosalie, S.M. (2021). Individual differences in performance and learning of visual anticipation in expert field hockey goalkeepers. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 52, 101829. 

Norrè, M.E. (1990). Posture in otoneurology. Acta Otorhino laryngol Belg , 44 (2–3), 55–181. 

Pandey, R., Pidlypenskyi, P., Yang, S., & Kaeser-Chen, C. (2018). Efficient 6-dof tracking of handheld objects from an egocentric viewpoint. In Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), (pp. 416–431). 

Polikanova, I., Yakushina, A., Leonov, S., Kruchinina, A., Chertopolokhov, V., & Liutsko, L. (2021). Study of Differences in Motor Reactions and Performances in Professional Ice Hockey Players and not Experienced Participants Using Virtual Reality (VR) Technology [Preprint]. Behavioral sciences. 

Schlattmann, M., Kahlesz, F., Sarlette, R., & Klein, R. (2007). Markerless 4 gestures 6 DOF real-time visual tracking of the human hand with automatic initialization. Computer Graphics Forum, 26 (3), 467–476. 

Shell, J.R., Robbins, S.M.K., Dixon, P.C., Renaud, P.J., Turcotte, R.A., Wu, T., & Pearsall, D.J. (2017). Skating start propulsion: Three-dimensional kinematic analysis of elite male and female ice hockey players. Sports Biomechanics, 16 (3), 313–324. 

Temoche, P., Ramírez, E., & Rodríguez, O. (2012). A low-cost data glove for virtual reality. In Proceedings of XI International Congress of Numerical Methods in Enginnering and Applied Sciences (CIMENICS). Caracas, 2012, pp. TCG31-36. 

Tramer, J.S., Deneweth, J.M., Whiteside, D., Ross, J.R., Bedi, A., & Goulet, G.C. (2015). On-Ice Functional Assessment of an Elite Ice Hockey Goaltender After Treatment for Femoroacetabular Impingement. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach, 7 (6), 542–547. 

Tuppurainen, J. (2021). Maintenance of Hip and Core Areas for Ice Hockey Goaltenders — A Video Training Guide. (Retrieved from (review date: 26.04.2022). 

Upjohn, T., Turcotte, R., Pearsall, D.J., & Loh, J. (2008). Three-dimensional kinematics of the lower limbs during forward ice hockey skating. Sports Biomechanics, 7 (2), 206–221. 

Walsh, M., Slattery, E., McMath, A., Cox, R., & Haworth, J. (2018). Training history constrains postural sway dynamics: A study of balance in collegiate ice hockey players. Gait & Posture, 66, 278–282. 

Whiteside, D., Deneweth, J.M., Bedi, A., Zernicke, R.F., & Goulet, G.C. (2015). Femoroacetabular Impingement in Elite Ice Hockey Goaltenders: Etiological Implications of On-Ice Hip Mechanics. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 43 (7), 1689–1697. 

Wilberg, R.B. (1979). The basic stance of age-group ice hockey goalkeepers. Canadian Journal of Applied Sport Sciences. Journal Canadien Des Sciences Appliquees Au Sport, 4 (1), 66–70. 

Wörner, T., Frayne, R.J., Magnusson, T., & Eek, F. (2021). The Perceived Demands of Ice Hockey Goaltending Movements on the Hip and Groin Region: An Elite Coach and Player Perspective. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 9 (11), 232596712110556.

To cite this article:

Leonov, S.V. , Anna P. Kruchinina, Bugriy Grigory S. , Natalia I. Bulaeva, Irina S. Polikanova. Basic characteristics of postural balance of professional hockey players and novices. // National Psychological Journal 2022. 2. p.65-79. doi: 10.11621/npj.2022.0207

Copied to Clipboard