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Ryland Morgans, Adam Owen, Dominic Doran, Barry Drust and James P. Morton

Purpose:

To monitor resting salivary secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) levels in international soccer players during the short-term training period that precedes international match play.

Methods:

In a repeated-measure design, saliva samples were obtained from 13 outfield soccer players who participated in the training camps preceding 7 games (5 home and 2 away) of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. Samples were obtained daily for 4 d preceding each game (and analyzed for SIgA using the IPRO oral-fluid-collection system) at match day minus 1 (MD-1), minus 2 (MD-2), minus 3 (MD-3), and minus 4 (MD-4).

Results:

SIgA displayed a progressive decline (P = .01) during the 4-d training period (MD-4, 365 ± 127 μg/mL; MD-3, 348 ± 154 μg/mL; MD-2, 290 ± 138 μg/mL; MD-1, 256 ± 90 μg/mL) such that MD-1 values were significantly lower (P = .01) than both MD-4 and MD-3. The 95% confidence intervals for the differences between MD-1 and MD-4 were –191 to –26 and between MD-1 and MD-3 were –155 to –28.

Conclusions:

Data demonstrate that a short-term soccer-training camp in preparation for international competition induces detectable perturbations to mucosal immunity. Future studies should monitor SIgA (as a practical and noninvasive measure of immunity) alongside internal and external measures of training load in an attempt to strategically individualize training and nutritional strategies that may support optimal preparation for high-level competition.

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Carlo Castagna, Mario Bizzini, Susana Cristina Araújo Póvoas and Stefano D’Ottavio

Purpose:

To examine the effect of recall timing on training-session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) in a population of athletes well familiarized with the method and procedures during a 5-d training microcycle.

Methods:

Fifty-one top-class field referees (FRs) (age 38.4 ± 3.3 y, height 181 ± 5.6 cm, body mass 76.8 ± 6.8 kg, body-mass index 23.4 ± 1.7 kg/m2, body fat 20.4% ± 3.6%, international refereeing experience 5 ± 3.5 y) from 43 national football associations worldwide, preselected by the FIFA refereeing department for officiating during the FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil, volunteered for this study. The FRs were randomly allocated into 3 assessment groups (n = 17 each), defined according to the timing of the sRPE, ie, immediately at the end of or 30 min or 7 h after the training sessions’ end. The CR10 Borg scale was used to rate the training sessions (n = 5). All FRs again rated each training session of the 5-d training microcycle on the next morning (~20 h after) for confirmation (absolute and relative reliability).

Results:

No significant timing effect was found between or within groups. Relative reliability ranged from large to very large with trivial within- and between-groups differences.

Conclusions:

This study showed no effect of recall timing on postexercise RPE when well-familiarized athletes are submitted to training during a weekly microcycle. Posttraining RPE was reported to be a reliable subjective measure; however, specific timing is advisable to reduce difference in RPE values.

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Matthew Weston, Warren Gregson, Carlo Castagna, Simon Breivik, Franco M. Impellizzeri and Ric J. Lovell

Athlete case studies have often focused on the training outcome and not the training process. Consequently, there is a dearth of information detailing longitudinal training protocols, yet it is the combined assessment of both outcome and process that enhances the interpretation of physical test data. We were provided with a unique opportunity to assess the training load, physical match performance, and physiological fitness of an elite soccer referee from the referee’s final season before attaining full-time, professional status (2002) until the season when he refereed the 2010 UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup finals. An increased focus on on-field speed and gym-based strength training was observed toward the end of the study period and longitudinal match data showed a tendency for decreased total distances but an increased intensity of movements. Laboratory assessments demonstrated that VO2max remained stable (52.3 vs 50.8 mL-kg–1-min–1), whereas running speed at the lactate threshold (14.0 vs 12.0 km-h-1) and running economy (37.3 vs 43.4 mLkg–1min–1) both improved in 2010 compared with 2002.

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Iñigo Mujika

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is around the corner. The event that lovers of The Beautiful Game—or o jogo bonito as they would say in Brazil—have been patiently waiting for kick-off mid-June, and passionate fans from all over the world will turn their attention to the football stadiums of Russia. A

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Renate M. Leithäuser

performances and victory in 2 consecutive championships is a complicated and difficult mission to accomplish. The surprise results in the early phase of the FIFA World Cup indicate that something like the “special rules of a tournament” or the “own the dynamics of a tournament” actually exists. However, it is

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Gashaw Abeza, Mads Quist Boesen, Norm O’Reilly and Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove

, FIFA first announced Qatar Airways (owned by the state of Qatar) as its Official Partner and Official Airline until the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar ( FIFA, 2017 ). The deal, according to FIFA ( 2017 ), is one of the biggest sporting sponsorships in the world and the largest in the history of Qatar

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George N. Kioussis

By Joel Nathan Rosen and Maureen M. Smith (eds.). Published in 2016 by University Press of Mississippi (368 pp., $75 USD , hardback) With the 2018 FIFA World Cup having recently concluded, the stars of the tournament will loom large in the collective psyche of soccer fans across the globe

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Matthew Zimmerman and Lauren Burch

duo’s appearance as between-matches commentators in EA Sports’ popular FIFA World Cup 2014 video game. After the 2014 tournament, they signed with NBC Sports Network, where they host a weekly television show focusing mostly on Premier League soccer and have also covered events including the Running of

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Jörg Krieger, Lindsay Parks Pieper and Ian Ritchie

interpretation of amateurism as a requirement for Olympic participation convinced FIFA to host a separate championship tournament with less stringent eligibility rules. 6 The decision paved the way for the financial success of the FIFA World Cup; according to FIFA financial documents, the 2018 FIFA World Cup

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Ju Young Lee

,” begins by exemplifying the power that sport has. For example, it describes the huge audiences and estimated economic values of sporting megaevents such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup and how such major sporting events influence and are entwined with our everyday lives (referring, e.g., to water