Floorball training model for schoolchildren with intellectual retardations to qualify for adaptive GTO complex tests

PhD, Associate Professor L.A. Parfenova1
E.A. Gerasimov1
PhD, Associate Professor E.V. Makarova2
1Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism, Kazan
2P.A. Stolypin Ulyanovsk State Agrarian University, Ulyanovsk

Keywords: adaptive physical education service, children with intellectual retardations, floorball, GTO Complex tests.

Background. Modern internationally recognized socializing practices for intellectually retarded people give a special attention to adaptive physical education and sport services [2, 3]. One of the leading roles in this context is played by the Special Olympic Games program with its adaptive sports and physical education and sport technologies. Both national and foreign analysts have shown a growing interest in the theoretical and practical aspects of modern corrective and developmental methods in application to mentally impaired children. Many studies demonstrate benefits of the modern efficient and customizable physical education and sport practices for the mentally impaired trainees in the physical progress and social adaptation domains, with the practices driven by many sports including track and field ones, skiing, figure skating, swimming, dance sport, football, weightlifting triathlon, powerlifting etc. However, we could find nothing special in the accessible study reports on the applications of adaptive floorball practices for mentally impaired adolescents.  

Floorball – that emerged by the end of the last century as the type of indoor floor bandy with five players and a goalkeeper in each team – have evolved into one of the most popular and rapidly progressing team sports the world over [1]. It is particularly popular in the special sporting communities for the reason that it is the only one team sport discipline in the World Winter Special Olympics.

Objective of the study was to assess benefits of an adaptive floorball training model of our own design for mentally retarded schoolchildren versus the relevant adaptive GTO Complex test standards.

Methods and structure of the study. We gave a special priority in our study to the valid adaptive GTO Complex physical fitness standards for the intellectually retarded individuals versus that for their healthy peers [2]. Sampled for the GTO Complex test standards verification study were 398 mentally retarded schoolchildren from 8 schools in Tatarstan Republic: see Table 1 hereunder.

Table 1. Sample for the adaptive GTO Complex test standards verification study


Age-specific GTO Complex test classes (years)


Total (girls)

Class I


Class II


Class III (11-12)

Class IV (13-15)

Class V (16-17)


398 (147)


14 (4)

68 (23)

141 (51)

154 (61)

21 (8)

Share, %

100 (37)

3,5 (1)

17,1 (6)

35,4 (13)

38,7 (15)

5,3 (2)


Results and discussion. Having processed and analyzed the physical fitness test data, we found the following: see Table 2. Most of the sample passed the adaptive GTO Complex prone push-up test (84% and 79% of the boys and girls, respectively) and standing two-leg jump test (61% in the both gender groups). The finding confirms the available research data on the generally fair physical fitness of mentally retarded people.

Table 2. Adaptive GTO Complex tests: gender-specific success rates, % (headcount)








Prone push-ups, count


50,2 (126)

19,9 (50)

13,9 (35)

16,0 (40)



48,9 (72)

15 (22)

15 (22)

21,1 (31)


Floor sitting straight-leg bents, cm


20 (50)

15,1 (38)

4,8 (12)

60,1 (151)



16,3 (24)

25,9 (38)

8,8 (13)

49,0 (72)


Standing long jump, cm


29,9 (75)

23,1 (58)

8 (20)

39 (98)



25,2 (37)

21,8 (32)

14,2 (21)

38,8 (57)


6m tennis ball throws on target, points


14,7 (37)

6,8 (17)

8 (20)

70,5 (177)



15,6 (23)

8,2 (12)

6,8 (10)

69,4 (102)


Note: B boys, G girls

Developmental disorders, typical for this health group, were found by the tennis ball throws on target test – that were failed by 70.5% and 69.4% in the boys and girls groups, respectively. Some gender-unspecific flexibility deficits may be explained by the sample underdevelopment due to the shortage of adaptive physical education and sport service in the most sensitive development period; plus, as we found, the school physical education and sport trainings have been mostly run by the teachers of non-sporting specialties – even at the special corrective schools.

Furthermore, we surveyed the health group’s physical education and sport motivations, interests and predispositions: see the Figure hereunder. Our analysis of the theoretical and practical study reports on the issue [3, 5] and the questionnaire surveys of the teachers, families and schoolchildren (n=38, 26 and 196, respectively) found the following dominant physical education and sport motivations: need for good communication and social appreciation; need for recognition and award for success; and pleasure from the physical activity. The success and health motivations were found to grow with regular physical trainings.

Figure 1. Preferred sports of the sample (n=196)

No wonder that the list of favorite sports of the health group was headed by football due to its highest national and global popularity and accessibility for the adaptive physical education and sport service to mentally retarded people. The respondents also mentioned volleyball, skiing, badminton, basketball and table tennis among the most accessible and preferred sport disciplines for the school physical education and sport and advanced programs. It should be emphasized that 67.4% (58 schoolchildren) of the group having a beginner floorball experience (86 out of 196) ranked high this discipline among the most appealing for them.

To cater for the potential interest of the health group to adaptive floorball and to contribute to the national policies to develop floorball in the country, we developed a floorball basics mastering model applicable in the off-class health training programs with the relevant technical tools including the ball control, throw, passing, reception, stoppage and striking techniques; yearly training schedule with timeframe for each training component; model application guidelines; and the didactic materials for the advanced physical education and sport / health training service.

At this juncture the new model is being piloted at the Republican adaptive education schools for the mentally retarded children: School #76 in Kazan, Boarding School in Kazan, and the Boarding School in Mamadysh. Sampled for the model testing experiment were the 11-13 years old schoolchildren (n=43) whose physical progress was tested by the adaptive GTO Complex tests for six experimental months (September 2018 through February 2019). The progress tests showed the new model being beneficial as verified by the meaningful growths (11% to 50%) of the test rates in every test for the period. Therefore, the floorball basics mastering model may be recommended for application as a powerful socializing tool for mentally retarded adolescents plus a highly beneficial method of trainings for the adaptive GTO Complex tests.

This study comprises a theoretical and practical part of the Sport Line Social Project launched in 2017 and supported in 2018 by the Presidential Grand Foundation to greatly expand the Project participation (from 144 people in 2017 to 568 people as of February 2019) and expand the numbers of the mentally retarded Project beneficiaries including children from the neighboring regions on the whole and Ulyanovsk Oblast in particular –  where floorball is increasingly popular nowadays.

Conclusion. We found the modern adaptive floorball being a highly promising, accessible and beneficial sport discipline in many health aspects, and particularly for trainees for the adaptive GTO Complex tests. The study data and analyses showed benefits of the floorball training model for the adaptive GTO Complex tests; and give grounds to recommend this sport discipline for the 11-13 year old schoolchildren with moderate intellectual retardations for their physical and mental progress and due motivation for the adaptive off-class physical education and sport services.


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Corresponding author: laraparf@mail.ru


As reported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Tatarstan Republic and found by our own studies, the republican school population with health limitations is still largely uncovered by the physical education and sport (PES) service; and this situation undermines the efforts to attain the goals set by the Physical Education and Sports Development Strategy for the period up to 2020, including the 20% coverage of the disabled population with modern physical education and sport services. The situation is given a special attention today in the context of the GTO Complex reinstatement project, with the pilot subprojects for disabled people and those with health limitations being implemented in a few Russian regions. The relevant training programs in the GTO Complex system need to apply versatile adaptive physical education and sport models and tools to lure disabled people in and motivate them for the trainings and competitions. The study was designed in this context to rate benefits of the floorball training model for the schoolchildren with intellectual retardations to train them for the adaptive GTO Complex tests. Sampled for the floorball training model tests were 398 schoolchildren with intellectual retardations from 8 republican schools. The study data and analyses showed benefits of the floorball training model for the adaptive GTO Complex tests; and give grounds to recommend this sport discipline for the 11-13 year old schoolchildren with moderate intellectual retardations for their physical and mental progress and due motivation for the adaptive off-class physical education and sport services.