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Adam Douglas, Michael A. Rotondi, Joseph Baker, Veronica K. Jamnik, and Alison K. Macpherson

study is to compare the external and internal loads of world-class female ice hockey players in training and competition across the 2 playing positions in the sport and to provide descriptive measures for coaches to make informed decisions regarding training volume and intensity in regard to match

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Georgia M. Black, Tim J. Gabbett, Richard D. Johnston, Geraldine Naughton, Michael H. Cole, and Brian Dawson

covering 135 m·min −1 and performing approximately 300 high-intensity efforts over the duration of a match. 1 Due to these match demands and the positional requirements of midfielders to cover a larger proportion of the field than other positional groups, these players are regularly rotated on and off

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Mitchell J. Henderson, Bryna C.R. Chrismas, Christopher J. Stevens, Andrew Novak, Job Fransen, Aaron J. Coutts, and Lee Taylor

, particularly females; thus, evidence-based decision making and practice within this paradigm are currently challenging. This study aims to (1) determine whether elite female rugby sevens players are exposed to a Tc during training in the heat that replicates the temperate match demands previously reported 4

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Georgia M. Black, Tim J. Gabbett, Rich D. Johnston, Michael H. Cole, Geraldine Naughton, and Brian Dawson

Purpose: The transition of female Australian football (AF) players from amateur to semielite competitions has the potential for athletes to be underprepared for match play. To gain an understanding of the match demands of female football, the aims of this study were to highlight the physical qualities that discriminate selected and nonselected female AF players, investigate activity profiles of female AF players, and gain an understanding of the influence of physical qualities on performance in female AF Methods: Twenty-two female AF state academy players (mean [SD]: age = 23.2 [4.5] y) and 27 nonselected players (mean [SD]: age = 23.4 [4.9] y) completed a Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1, countermovement jump, and 30-m sprint tests were completed prior to the competitive season. During 14 matches, players wore global positioning system units to describe the running demands of match play. Results: Selected players were faster over 30 m (ES = 0.57; P = .04) and covered greater distances on the Yo-Yo IR1 (ES = 1.09; P < .001). Selected midfielders spent greater time on the field and covered greater total distances (ES = 0.73–0.85; P < .01). Players faster over 5 m (r = −.612) and 30 m (r = −.807) and who performed better on the Yo-Yo IR1 (r = .489) covered greater high-speed distances during match play. Conclusions: An emphasis should be placed on the development of physical fitness in this playing group to ensure optimal preparation for the national competition.

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Joanne Hausler, Mark Halaki, and Rhonda Orr

Purpose:

To investigate activity profiles of Australian rugby league players during match play by competition, position, and match outcome in the New South Wales (NSW) second-tier competitions.

Methods:

Eighteen NSW Cup (NSWC) and 22 National Youth Competition (NYC) players, participating in this prospective cohort study, were categorized into 3 positional groups: forwards, adjustables, and outside backs. Global positioning system devices were used to examine activity profiles (distance and relative distance covered in walking, jogging, moderate, high, very high, and sprinting speed zones and quantification of high-speed movement) during match play in 21 NSWC and 22 NYC matches (N = 339 files).

Results:

NSWC players performed more sprints (36.5 ± 9.3 vs 28.4 ± 9.2) and greater relative distance in moderate speed zones (18.4 ± 3.2 vs 15.8 ± 3.1 m/min) than NYC. NSWC outside backs covered greater relative distance in jogging (29.4 ± 2.9 vs 24.8 ± 2.7 m/min) and moderate speed zones (17.0 ± 2.6 vs 12.8 ± 2.8 m/min) than their NYC counterparts. Adjustables performed more sprints (39.4 ± 10.1 vs 27.0 ± 9.2), high-intensity accelerations (3.7 ± 1.4 vs 1.9 ± 1.4), and relative distance (84.8 ± 4.3 vs 88.6 ± 4.8 m/min) than forwards and greater relative distance (81.5 ± 3.8 m/min) and sprints (31.0 ± 8.0) than outside backs. Adjustables recorded greater relative distance (19.8 m/min) in moderate speed zones than forwards (16.7 ± 3.1 m/min) and outside backs (14.9 ± 2.7 m/min). Adjustables covered ~685 m more than outside backs during a win.

Conclusions:

This is the first study to document the activity profiles of the NSW second-tier rugby league competition. The findings underscore the elevated match demands of adjustables and indicate higher intensity of play in NSWC than NYC that may more closely resemble the demands of National Rugby League match play.

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Chelsea L. Oxendale, Craig Twist, Matthew Daniels, and Jamie Highton

Purpose:

While exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) after rugby league match play has been well documented, the specific match actions that contribute to EIMD are unclear. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to investigate the positional demands of elite rugby league matches and examine their relationship with subsequent EIMD.

Methods:

Twenty-eight performances (from 17 participants) were captured using 10-Hz global positioning systems over 4 competitive matches. Upper- and lower-body neuromuscular fatigue, creatine kinase (CK), and perceived muscle soreness were assessed 24 h before and at 12, 36, and 60 h after matches.

Results:

High-intensity running was moderately higher in backs (6.6 ± 2.6 m/min) than in forwards (5.1 ± 1.6 m/min), whereas total collisions were moderately lower (31.1 ± 13.1 vs 54.1 ± 37.0). Duration (r = .90, CI: .77–.96) and total (r = .86, CI: .70–.95) and high-intensity distance covered (r = .76, CI: .51–.91) were associated (P < .05) with increased CK concentration postmatch. Total collisions and repeated high-intensity efforts were associated (P < .05) with large decrements in upper-body neuromuscular performance (r = –.48, CI: –.74 to .02; r = –.49, CI: –.77 to .05, respectively), muscle soreness (r = –.68, CI: –.87 to –.10, r = –.66, CI: –.89 to .21, respectively), and CK concentration (r = .67, CI: .42–.85; r = .73, CI: .51–.87, respectively). All EIMD markers returned to baseline within 60 h.

Conclusion:

Match duration, high-intensity running, and collisions were associated with variations in EIMD markers, suggesting that recovery is dependent on individual match demands.

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Luis Suarez-Arrones, Carlos Arenas, Guillermo López, Bernardo Requena, Oliver Terrill, and Alberto Mendez-Villanueva

Purpose:

This study describes the physical match demands relative to positional group in male rugby sevens.

Methods:

Ten highly trained players were investigated during competitive matches (N = 23) using GPS technology, heart rate (HR), and video recording.

Results:

The relative distance covered by the players throughout the match was 102.3 ± 9.8 m/min. As a percentage of total distance, 35.8% (36.6 ± 5.9 m/min) was covered walking, 26.0% (26.6 ± 5.5 m/min) jogging, 10.0% (10.2 ± 2.4 m/min) running at low intensity, 14.2% (14.5 ± 4.0 m/min) at medium intensity, 4.6% (4.7 ± 1.6 m/min) at high intensity, and 9.5% (9.7 ± 3.7 m/min) sprinting. For the backs, a substantial decrease in total distance and distance covered at low, medium, and high intensity was observed in the second half. Forwards exhibited a substantial decrease in the distance covered at medium intensity, high intensity, and sprinting in the 2nd half. Backs covered substantially more total distance at medium and sprinting speeds than forwards. In addition, the maximum length of sprint runs was substantially greater for the backs than forwards. On the contrary, forwards performed more tackles. The mean HR during the match in backs and forwards was similar, with the exception of time spent at HR intensities >90%HRmax, which was substantially higher in forwards.

Conclusion:

These findings provide a description of the different physical demands placed on rugby sevens backs and forwards. This information may be helpful in the development of positional and/or individualized physical-fitness training programs.

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Alistair P. Murphy, Rob Duffield, Aaron Kellett, and Machar Reid

Purpose:

High-performance tennis environments aim to prepare athletes for competitive demands through simulated-match scenarios and drills. With a dearth of direct comparisons between training and tournament demands, the current investigation compared the perceptual and technical characteristics of training drills, simulated match play, and tournament matches.

Methods:

Data were collected from 18 high-performance junior tennis players (gender: 10 male, 8 female; age 16 ± 1.1 y) during 6 ± 2 drill-based training sessions, 5 ± 2 simulated match-play sessions, and 5 ± 3 tournament matches from each participant. Tournament matches were further distinguished by win or loss and against seeded or nonseeded opponents. Notational analysis of stroke and error rates, winners, and serves, along with rating of perceived physical exertion (RPE) and mental exertion was measured postsession.

Results:

Repeated-measures analyses of variance and effect-size analysis revealed that training sessions were significantly shorter in duration than tournament matches (P < .05, d = 1.18). RPEs during training and simulated matchplay sessions were lower than in tournaments (P > .05; d = 1.26, d = 1.05, respectively). Mental exertion in training was lower than in both simulated match play and tournaments (P > .05; d = 1.10, d = 0.86, respectively). Stroke rates during tournaments exceeded those observed in training (P < .05, d = 3.41) and simulated-match-play (P < .05, d = 1.22) sessions. Furthermore, the serve was used more during tournaments than simulated match play (P < .05, d = 4.28), while errors and winners were similar independent of setting (P > .05, d < 0.80).

Conclusions:

Training in the form of drills or simulated match play appeared to inadequately replicate tournament demands in this cohort of players. Coaches should be mindful of match demands to best prescribe sessions of relevant duration, as well as internal (RPE) and technical (stroke rate) load, to aid tournament preparation.

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Jason D. Vescovi and Devon H. Frayne

Purpose:

To examine locomotor demands and metabolic-power characteristics of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) field hockey matches.

Methods:

Using a cross-sectional design, global positioning system (GPS) technology tracked Division I field hockey players from 6 teams during 1 regular-season match (68 player observations). An ANOVA compared locomotor demands and metabolic-power characteristics among positions. Paired t tests compared dependent variables between halves.

Results:

Defenders played 5−6 min more than midfielders, whereas midfielders played 6−7 min more than forwards. Defenders covered less relative distance (98 m/min) than forwards and midfielders (110−111 m/min), as well as more low-intensity running than forwards and less high-intensity running than midfielders. Lower mean metabolic power (9.3 W/kg) was observed for defenders than forwards and midfielders (10.4 W/kg). There was no difference in playing time between halves; however, all 3 positions had a reduction in relative distance (7−9%) and mean metabolic power (8−9%) during the second half.

Conclusions:

Despite more playing time, defenders covered less relative distance and had lower mean metabolic power than other positions. Moderate-intensity, high-intensity, and sprint distance were similar between positions, highlighting the greater relative demands on forwards because they tended to have the least amount of playing time. The reduction of key metrics during the second half was similar among positions and warrants further investigation. These initial results can be used to design position-specific drills or create small-sided games that replicate match demands for NCAA athletes, thus helping establish strategies for developing physiological ability of players at this level.

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. Flohr * Davis L. Wenos * Michael J. Saunders * 12 2011 6 4 546 558 10.1123/ijspp.6.4.546 The Match Demands of Australian Rules Football Umpires in a State-Base Competition Nathan Elsworthy * Ben J. Dascombe * 12 2011 6 4 559 571 10.1123/ijspp.6.4.559 Invited Commentary Youth Sport Specialization