The aim of this study was to examine the impact of maximum sprint speed on peak and mean sprint speed during youth female field hockey matches. Two high-level female field hockey teams (U-17, n = 24, and U-21, n = 20) were monitored during a 4-game international test series using global position system technology and tested for maximum sprint speed. Dependent variables were compared using a 3-factor ANOVA (age group, position, and speed classification); effect sizes (Cohen d) and confidence limits were also calculated. Maximum sprint speed was similar between age groups and positions, with faster players having greater speed than slower players (29.3 ± 0.4 vs 27.2 ± 1.1 km/h). Overall, peak match speed in youth female field hockey players reaches approximately 90% of maximum sprint speed. Absolute peak match speed and mean sprint speed during matches were similar among the age groups (except match 1) and positions (except match 2); however, peak match speed was greater for faster players in matches 3 and 4. No differences were observed in the relative proportion for mean sprint speeds for age groups or positions, but slower players consistently displayed similar relative mean sprint speeds by using a greater proportion of their maximum sprint speed.
The author is with the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Address correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org.