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Carl G. Mattacola and Christopher Higgins

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Mathieu Lacome, Julien Piscione, Jean-Philippe Hager and Christopher Carling

Purpose:

To investigate the patterns and performance of substitutions in 18 international 15-a-side men’s rugby union matches.

Methods:

A semiautomatic computerized time–motion system compiled 750 performance observations for 375 players (422 forwards, 328 backs). Running and technical-performance measures included total distance run, high-intensity running (>18.0 km/h), number of individual ball possessions and passes, percentage of passes completed, and number of attempted and percentage of successful tackles.

Results:

A total of 184 substitutions (85.2%) were attributed to tactical and 32 (14.8%) to injury purposes respectively. The mean period for non-injury-purpose substitutions in backs (17.7%) occurred between 70 and 75 min, while forward substitutions peaked equally between 50–55 and 60–65 min (16.4%). Substitutes generally demonstrated improved running performance compared with both starter players who completed games and players whom they replaced (small differences, ES –0.2 to 0.5) in both forwards and backs over their entire time played. There was also a trend for better running performance in forward and back substitutes over their first 10 min of play compared with the final 10 min for replaced players (small to moderate differences, ES 0.3–0.6). Finally, running performance in both forward and back substitutes was generally lower (ES –0.1 to 0.3, unclear or small differences) over their entire 2nd-half time played compared with their first 10 min of play. The impact of substitutes on technical performance was generally considered unclear.

Conclusions:

This information provides practitioners with practical data relating to the physical and technical contributions of substitutions that subsequently could enable optimization of their impact on match play.

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Ademir F.S. Arruda, Christopher Carling, Vinicius Zanetti, Marcelo S. Aoki, Aaron J. Coutts and Alexandre Moreira

Purpose:

To analyze the effects of a very congested match schedule on the total distance (TD) covered, high-intensity-running (HIR) distance, and frequency of accelerations and body-load impacts (BLIs) performed in a team of under-15 soccer players (N = 10; 15.1 ± 0.2 y, 171.8 ± 4.7 cm, 61 ± 6.0 kg) during an international youth competition.

Methods:

Using global positioning systems, player performances were repeatedly monitored in 5 matches performed over 3 successive days.

Results:

Significant differences were observed between matches (P < .05) for the frequency of accelerations per minute, BLIs, and BLIs per minute. No differences were observed for the TD covered, TD run per minute, number of high-intensity runs, distance covered in HIR, per-minute peak running speed attained, or frequency of accelerations. The frequency of accelerations per minute decreased across the competition while BLIs were higher during the final than in all other matches.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that BLIs and acceleration might be used as an alternative means to represent the external load during congested match schedules rather than measures related to running speed or distance covered.

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Mathieu Lacome, Christopher Carling, Jean-Philippe Hager, Gerard Dine and Julien Piscione

Purpose: To examine the effects of an intensified tournament on workload, perceptual and neuromuscular fatigue, and muscle-damage responses in an international under-20 rugby union team. Methods: Players were subdivided into a high-exposure group (HEG, n = 13) and a low-exposure group (LEG, n = 11) according to match-play exposure time. Measures monitored over the 19-d period included training session (n = 10) and match (n = 5) workload determined via global positioning systems and session rating of perceived exertion. Well-being scores, countermovement jump height performance, and blood creatine kinase concentrations were collected at various time points. Results: Analysis of workload cumulated across the tournament entirety for training and match play combined showed that high-speed running distance was similar between groups, while a very likely larger session rating of perceived exertion load was reported in HEG vs LEG. In HEG, high-speed activity fluctuated across the 5 successive matches, albeit with no clear trend for a progressive decrease. No clear tendency for a progressive decrease in well-being scores prior to or following matches was observed in either group. In HEG, trivial to possibly small reductions in postmatch countermovement jump performance were observed, while unclear to most likely moderate increases in prematch blood creatine kinase concentrations occurred until prior to match 4. Conclusions: The magnitude of match-to-match changes in external workload, perceptual and neuromuscular fatigue, and muscle damage was generally unclear or small. These results suggest that irrespective of exposure time to match play players generally maintained performance and readiness to play across the intensified tournament. These findings support the need for holistic systematic player-monitoring programs.

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Christopher Melton, David R. Mullineaux, Carl G. Mattacola, Scott D. Mair and Tim L. Uhl

Context:

Dynamic shoulder motion can be captured using video capture systems, but reliability has not yet been established.

Objective:

To compare the reliability of 2 systems in measuring dynamic shoulder kinematics during forward-elevation movements and to determine differences in these kinematics between healthy and injured subjects.

Design:

Reliability and cohort.

Setting:

Research laboratory.

Participants:

11 healthy subjects and 10 post–superior labrum anteroposterior lesion patients (SLAP).

Intervention:

Contrasting markers were placed at the hip, elbow, and shoulder to represent shoulder elevation and were videotaped in 2 dimensions. Subjects performed 6 repetitions of active elevation (AE) and active assisted elevation of the shoulder, and 3 trials were analyzed using Datapac (comprehensive system) and Dartfish (basic system).

Main Outcome Measures:

Amplitudes and velocities of the shoulder angle were calculated. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), standard error of measurement (SEM), and levels of agreement (LOA) were used to determine intersystem and intertrial reliability.

Results:

For AE, the amplitude maximum (ICC = .98–.99, SEM = 2–3°, LOA = −9° to 5°) and average velocity (ICC = .94–.97, SEM = 1°/s, LOA = −4° to 1°/s) indicated excellent intersystem reliability between systems. Intratrial reliability for minimum velocity was moderate for Datapac (ICC = .64, SEM = 4°/s, LOA = 7°/s) and poor for Dartfish (ICC = .52, SEM = 20°/s, LOA = 37°/s). Cohort results demonstrated for AE a greater amplitude for healthy v SLAP (139° ± 11° v 113° ± 13°; P = .001) and interaction for an average velocity increase of 2°/s in healthy and decrease of 2°/s in SLAP patients over the 3 trials (P = .02).

Conclusions:

Reliability ranges provide the means to assess the clinical meaningfulness of results. The cohort differences are supported when the values exceed the ranges of the SEM; hence the amplitude results are meaningful. For dynamic shoulder elevation measured using video, the assessment of velocity was found to produce moderate to good reliability. The results suggest that with these measures subtle changes in both measures may be possible with further investigations.

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Abdou Temfemo, Thierry Lelard, Christopher Carling, Samuel Honoré Mandengue, Mehdi Chlif and Said Ahmaidi

This study investigated the feasibility and reliability of a 12 × 25-m repeated sprint test with sprints starting every 25-s in children aged 6–8 years (36 boys, 41 girls). In all subjects, total sprint time (TST) demonstrated high test-retest reliability (ICC: r = .98; CV: 0.7% (95% CI: 0.6–0.9)). While sprint time varied over the 12 sprints in all subjects (p < .001) with a significant increase in time for the third effort onwards compared with the first sprint (p < .001), there was no difference in performance between genders. In all subjects, TST decreased with age (p < .001) and was accompanied by an increase in estimated anaerobic power (p < .001) but also in sprint time decrement percentage (p < .001). Gender did not effect these changes. The present study demonstrates the practicability and reliability of a repeated sprint test with respect to age and gender in young children.

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Alexandre Moreira, Arnaldo Mortatti, Marcelo Aoki, Ademir Arruda, Camila Freitas and Christopher Carling

This study investigated the contribution of salivary testosterone (sT) concentration, years from peak height velocity (YPHV) and height by body mass interaction on jumping performance (Countermovement jump; CMJ) and aerobic fitness (Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test, level 1) in young elite soccer players. Forty-five participants (age: 12.5 ± 0.5y; body mass: 48.6 ± 10.2kg, height: 155.7 ± 10.0cm) belonging to a top level Brazilian soccer club were evaluated at four time points across a single semester. None of the assessed players had reached PHV. The data from the four evaluations were averaged and multiple linear regression analysis conducted. For CMJ, the model explained 42.88% of the variance (R 2 = 42.88; p < .000); sT concentration was the primary contributor (R 2 = 32.84) and the YPHV contributed 9.95% of the variance. The model explained 28.50% (p < .000) of the variance in Yo-Yo. The sT was the primary and single significant contributor (R 2 = 21.32). A significant difference was noted between high and low testosterone groups divided a posteriori to CMJ performance (t = 3.35; p = .001). These results suggest an important role for hormonal status in interpreting physical performance in preadolescent soccer players.

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Jelle de Jong, Linda van der Meijden, Simone Hamby, Samantha Suckow, Christopher Dodge, Jos J. de Koning and Carl Foster

Purpose:

To reach top performance in cycling, optimizing distribution of energy resources is crucial. The purpose of this study was to investigate power output during 250-m, 500-m, and 1000-m cycling time trials and the characteristics of the adopted pacing strategy.

Methods:

Nine trained cyclists completed an incremental test and 3 time trials that they were instructed to finish as quickly as possible. Preceding the trials, peak power during short sprints (PPsprint) and gross efficiency (GE) were measured. During the trials, power output and oxygen consumption were measured to calculate the contribution of the aerobic and anaerobic energy sources. After the trial GE was measured again.

Results:

Peak power during all trials (PPTT) was lower than PPsprint. In the 250-m trial the PPTT was higher in the 1000-m trial (P = .008). The subjects performed a significantly longer time at high intensity in the 250-m than in the 1000-m (P = .029). GE declined significantly during all trials (P < .01). Total anaerobically attributable work was less in the 250-m than in the 500-m (P = .015) and 1000-m (P < .01) trials.

Conclusion:

The overall pacing pattern in the 250-m trial appears to follow an all-out strategy, although peak power is still lower than the potential maximal power output. This suggests that a true all-out pattern of power output may not be used in fixed-distance events. The 500-m and 1000-m had a more conservative pacing pattern and anaerobic power output reached a constant magnitude.

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Kayla B. Henslin Harris, Carl Foster, Jos J. de Koning, Christopher Dodge, Glenn A. Wright and John P. Porcari

Previous studies have found decreases in arterial oxygen saturation to be temporally linked to reductions in power output (PO) during time-trial (TT) exercise. The purpose of this study was to determine whether preexercise desaturation (estimated from pulse oximetry [SpO2]), via normobaric hypoxia, would change the pattern of PO during a TT.

Purpose:

The authors tested the hypothesis that the starting PO of a TT would be reduced in the EARLY trial secondary to a reduced SpO2 but would not be reduced in LATE until ~30 s after the start of the TT.

Methods:

Eight trained cyclists/triathletes (4 male, 4 female) performed 3 randomly ordered 3-km TTs while breathing either room air (CONTROL) or hypoxic air administered 3 min before the start of the TT (EARLY) or at the beginning of the TT (LATE).

Results:

There was no effect of hypoxia on PO during the first 0.3 km of either the EARLY or the LATE trial compared with CONTROL, although there was a significant decrease in pre-TT SpO2 in EARLY vs CONTROL and LATE. The time for PO to decrease was ~40 s after the start of the TT in both EARLY and LATE.

Conclusions:

The results support the strong effect of the preexercise template on the pattern of PO during simulated competition and suggest that reductions in SpO2 are not direct signals to decrease PO.

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Jos J. de Koning, Dionne A. Noordhof, Tom P. Uitslag, Rianna E Galiart, Christopher Dodge and Carl Foster

Purpose:

Gross efficiency (GE) is coupling power production to propulsion and is an important performance-determining factor in endurance sports. Measuring GE normally requires measuring VO2 during submaximal exercise. In this study a method is proposed to estimating GE during high-intensity exercise.

Methods:

Nineteen subjects completed a maximal incremental test and 2 GE tests (1 experimental and 1 control test). The GE test consisted of 10 min cycling at 50% peak power output (PPO), 2 min at 25 W, followed by 4 min 100% PPO, 1 min at 25 W, and another 10 min at 50% PPO. GE was determined for the 50%-PPO sections and was, for the second 50%-PPO section, back-extrapolated, using linear regression, to the end of the 100%-PPO bout.

Results:

Back-extrapolation of the GE data resulted in a calculated GE of 15.8% ± 1.7% at the end of the 100%-PPO bout, in contrast to 18.3% ± 1.3% during the final 2 min of the first 10-min 50%-PPO bout.

Conclusion:

Back-extrapolation seems valuable in providing more insight in GE during high-intensity exercise.