Changes in Core Temperature During an Elite Female Rugby Sevens Tournament

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $107.00

1 year subscription

USD  $142.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $203.00

2 year subscription

USD  $265.00

Purpose: To characterize player core temperature (Tc) across a World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series tournament day (WRWSS) and determine the efficacy of commonly employed cold-water-immersion (CWI) protocols. Methods: Tc was measured in 12 elite female rugby sevens athletes across 3 games (G1–3) from day 1 of the Sydney WRWSS tournament. Symptoms of exertional heat illness, perceptual scales, CWI details, playing minutes, external-load data (measured by global positioning systems), and wet-bulb globe temperature (range 18.5°C–20.1°C) were also collected. Linear mixed models and magnitude-based inferences were used to assess differences in Tc between periods (G1–3 and warm-ups [WU]). Results: Average Tc was “very likely” lower (effect size; ±90% confidence limit −0.33; ±0.18) in G1 than in G2. Peak Tc was “very likely” (0.71; ±0.28) associated with increased playing time. CWI did not remove the accumulated Tc due to WU and match-play activity (∼1°C–2°C rise in Tc still present compared with Tc at WU onset for players ≥6-min match play). Conclusions: Elite WRWSS athletes experienced high Tc during WU (Tc peak 37.9–39.0°C) and matches (Tc peak 37.9–39.8°C), a magnitude known to reduce intermittent high-intensity physical performance (≥39°C). The CWI protocol resulted in players (≥6-min match play) with ∼1°C to 2°C raised Tc compared with Tc at WU onset.

Henderson, Coutts, and Taylor are with Sport & Exercise Discipline Group, Faculty of Health, and the Human Performance Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Sydney, NSW, Australia. Henderson is also with Australian Rugby Sevens, Rugby Australia, Sydney, Australia. Chrismas is with the Sport Science Program, College of Arts and Science, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar. Stevens is with the School of Health and Human Sciences and the Centre for Athlete Development, Experience and Performance, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, Australia. Taylor is also with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom, and Aspetar, Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Athlete Health and Performance Research Center, Doha, Qatar.

Taylor (l.taylor2@lboro.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Ross A, Gill N, Cronin J. The match demands of international rugby sevens. J Sports Sci. 2015;33(10):1035–1041. PubMed ID: 25555035 doi:

  • 2.

    Clarke AC, Anson JM, Pyne DB. Game movement demands and physical profiles of junior, senior and elite male and female rugby sevens players. J Sports Sci. 2017;35(8):727–733. PubMed ID: 27214399 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Taylor L, Thornton HR, Lumley N, Stevens CJ. Alterations in core temperature during world rugby sevens series tournaments in temperate and warm environments. Eur J Sport Sci. 2019;19(4):432–441. PubMed ID: 30305001 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Girard O, Brocherie F, Bishop DJ. Sprint performance under heat stress: a review. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2015;25(suppl 1):79–89. doi:

  • 5.

    Kaciuba-Uscilko H, Grucza R. Gender differences in thermoregulation. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2001;4(6):533–536. PubMed ID: 11706289 doi:

  • 6.

    Kakamu T, Wada K, Smith DR, Endo S, Fukushima T. Preventing heat illness in the anticipated hot climate of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Environ Health Prev Med. 2017;22(1):68. PubMed ID: 29165162 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Kashimura O, Minami K, Hoshi A. Prediction of WBGT for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Marathon. Japan J Biometeorol. 2016;53(4):139–144.

  • 8.

    Janse DEJXA, Thompson MW, Chuter VH, Silk LN, Thom JM. Exercise performance over the menstrual cycle in temperate and hot, humid conditions. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44(11):2190–2198. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Ihsan M, Watson G, Abbiss CR. What are the physiological mechanisms for post-exercise cold water immersion in the recovery from prolonged endurance and intermittent exercise? Sports Med. 2016;46(8):1095–1109. PubMed ID: 26888646 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Schuster J, Howells D, Robineau J, et al. Physical-preparation recommendations for elite rugby sevens performance. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018;13(3):255–267. PubMed ID: 28771098 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Bongers C, Daanen HAM, Bogerd CP, Hopman MTE, Eijsvogels TMH. Validity, reliability, and inertia of four different temperature capsule systems. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2018;50(1):169–175. PubMed ID: 28816921 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Taylor L, Stevens CJ, Thornton HR, Poulos N, Chrismas BCR. Limiting the rise in core temperature during a rugby sevens warm-up with an ice vest. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2019;14(9):1212–1218. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Byrne C, Lim CL. The ingestible telemetric body core temperature sensor: a review of validity and exercise applications. Br J Sports Med. 2007;41(3):126–133. PubMed ID: 17178778 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Travers GJS, Nichols DS, Farooq A, Racinais S, Périard JD. Validation of an ingestible temperature data logging and telemetry system during exercise in the heat. Temperature. 2016;3(2):208–219. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Periard JD, Racinais S, Timpka T, et al. Strategies and factors associated with preparing for competing in the heat: a cohort study at the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championships. Br J Sports Med. 2017;51(4):264–270. PubMed ID: 27815238 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Thornton HR, Nelson AR, Delaney JA, Serpiello FR, Duthie GM. Interunit reliability and effect of data-processing methods of global positioning systems. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2019;14(4):432–438. PubMed ID: 30204529 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Young AJ, Sawka MN, Epstein Y, Decristofano B, Pandolf KB. Cooling different body surfaces during upper and lower body exercise. J Appl Physiol. 1987;63(3):1218–1223. PubMed ID: 3654466 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    Borg GA. Psychophysical bases of perceived exertion. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1982;14(5):377–381. PubMed ID: 7154893 doi:

  • 19.

    Hopkins WG, Marshall SW, Batterham AM, Hanin J. Progressive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise science. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(1):3–13. PubMed ID: 19092709 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    Grafen G, Hails R. In:Modern Statistics for the Life Sciences. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2002:153–184.

  • 21.

    West BT, Welch KB, Galecki AT. Linear Mixed Models: A Practical Guide Using Statistical Software. 2nd ed. London, UK: Taylor & Francis; 2014.

  • 22.

    Hurvich CM, Tsai CL. Model selection for extended quasi-likelihood models in small samples. Biometrics. 1995;51(3):1077–1084. PubMed ID: 7548692 doi:

  • 23.

    Tippet ML, Stofan JR, Lacambra M, Horswill CA. Core temperature and sweat responses in professional women’s tennis players during tournament play in the heat. J Athl Train. 2011;46(1):55–60. PubMed ID: 21214351 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24.

    Somboonwong J, Chutimakul L, Sanguanrungsirikul S. Core temperature changes and sprint performance of elite female soccer players after a 15-minute warm-up in a hot-humid environment. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29(1):262–269. PubMed ID: 25532432 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25.

    Casadio JR, Kilding AE, Cotter JD, Laursen PB. From lab to real world: heat acclimation considerations for elite athletes. Sports Med. 2017;47(8):1467–1476. PubMed ID: 28035584 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26.

    Racinais S, Alonso JM, Coutts AJ, et al. Consensus recommendations on training and competing in the heat. Br J Sports Med. 2015;49(18):1164–1173. PubMed ID: 26069301 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27.

    Zhang Y, Davis JK, Casa DJ, Bishop PA. Optimizing cold water immersion for exercise-induced hyperthermia: a meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015;47(11):2464–2472. PubMed ID: 25910052 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    Henderson MJ, Harries SK, Poulos N, Fransen J, Coutts AJ. Rugby sevens match demands and measurement of performance: a review. Kinesiology. 2018;50:49–59.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29.

    Biau DJ, Kernéis S, Porcher R. Statistics in brief: the importance of sample size in the planning and interpretation of medical research. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2008;466(9):2282–2288. PubMed ID: 18566874 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30.

    Stevens CJ, Mauger AR, Hassmen P, Taylor L. Endurance performance is influenced by perceptions of pain and temperature: theory, applications and safety considerations. Sports Med. 2018;48(3):525–537. PubMed ID: 29270865 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 245 245 245
Full Text Views 11 11 11
PDF Downloads 7 7 7