The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of multiple games on exercise intensity during a world-class hockey tournament.
15 players (mean ± SD age 27 ± 4 y, stature 179 ± 5 cm, body mass 77 ± 5 kg, and estimated VO2 64.2 ± 3.1 mL · kg−1 · min−1) competing in the Champions Trophy (CT). Global-positioning systems assessed total distance (TD), low-speed activity (LSA; 0.10–4.17 m/s), and high-speed running (HSR; >4.17 m/s) distance. Differences in movement demands (TD, LSA, HSR) between positions and matches were assessed using the effect size and percent difference ± 90% confidence intervals. Two levels of comparison were made. First, data from subsequent matches were compared with match 1, and, second, data from each match compared with a tournament average (TA).
In all matches, compared with game 1, midfielders performed less HSR distance. However, the amount of HSR did not decrease as the tournament progressed. When compared with the TA, defenders showed more variation in each match. All positions showed lower movement outputs when the team won by a large margin.
It was possible for elite team-sport athletes to maintain exercise intensity when playing 6 matches in a period of 9 days, contrary to the only other investigation of this in elite male field hockey.
Jennings and Aughey are with the School of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. Cormack is with the School of Exercise, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia. Coutts is with the Human Movement, Sport and Exercise Discipline Group, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.