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Patrick G. Campbell, Jonathan M. Peake and Geoffrey M. Minett

of rugby union. Of particular importance is the specificity of current training practices in preparation for competitive match demands. Rugby coaching practices are anecdotally known to extensively utilize strategies that remove the performance context from the skill (eg, unopposed or passive skills

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Alex Ross, Nicholas D. Gill and John B. Cronin

Purpose:

To compare the running demands and match activity profiles of international and provincial rugby sevens players.

Participants:

84 rugby sevens players, consisting of 16 international players from 1 team and 68 provincial players from 8 teams.

Methods:

Global positioning system analysis was completed during international and provincial tournament matches. Video analysis was also used to quantify the individual match activities during tournament matches.

Results:

Trivial to moderate differences were found in the running demands of international and provincial players, with internationals covering a greater distance at very high speed (ES = 0.30) and performing a greater number of sprints (ES = 0.80). Small differences were found between the 2 levels in all but total tackles (ES = 0.07) and defensive ruck effectiveness (ES = 0.64). International matches incurred a greater overall ball-in-play time than provincial matches (proportion ratio = 1.32).

Conclusions:

These findings demonstrate that both physical and technical factors distinguish international and provincial rugby sevens, although overall match demands are similar.

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Mathieu Lacome, Ben M. Simpson, Yannick Cholley, Philippe Lambert and Martin Buchheit

referred to as “the tactical periodization model” 5 ; its key principle is the overload, relative to match demands, of each of the 3 main fitness components (strength, endurance, and speed) within a football-specific manner during the week, rather than throughout a single session. Besides the specific

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Matthew R. Blair, Nathan Elsworthy, Nancy J. Rehrer, Chris Button and Nicholas D. Gill

appears that the physical (ie, distance) and physiological (ie, HR) variables are not interchangeable and provide different information related to the match demands of referees. This conflict is not surprising since HR responses are slow to respond to changes in intensity and they may not accurately

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Amy Brightmore, John O’Hara, Kevin Till, Steve Cobley, Tate Hubka, Stacey Emmonds and Carlton Cooke

Purpose:

To evaluate the movement and physiological demands of Australasian National Rugby League (NRL) referees, officiating with a 2-referee (ie, lead and pocket) system, and to compare the demands of the lead and pocket referees.

Methods:

Global positioning system devices (10 Hz) were used to obtain 86 data sets (lead, n = 41; pocket, n = 45) on 19 NRL referees. Total distance, relative distance covered, and heart rate per half and across match play were examined within and between referees using t tests. Distance, time, and number of movement “efforts” were examined in 6 velocity classifications (ie, standing <0.5, walking 0.51–2.0, jogging 2.01–4.0, running 4.01–5.5, high-speed running 5.51–7.0, and sprinting >7.0 m/s) using analysis of variance. Cohen d effect sizes are reported.

Results:

There were no significant differences between the lead and pocket referees for any movement or physiological variable. There was an overall significant (large, very large) effect for distance (% distance) and time (% time) (P < .001) between velocity classifications for both the lead and pocket referees. Both roles covered the largest distance and number of efforts at velocities of 0.51–2.0 m/s and 2.01–4.0 m/s, which were interspersed with efforts >5.51 m/s.

Conclusions:

Findings highlight the intermittent nature of rugby league refereeing but show that there were no differences in the movement and physiological demands of the 2 refereeing roles. Findings are valuable for those responsible for the preparation, training, and conditioning of NRL referees and to ensure that training prepares for and simulates match demands.

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Nathan Elsworthy and Ben J. Dascombe

Purpose:

The main purpose of the present study was to quantify the match running demands and physiological intensities of AF field and boundary umpires during match play.

Methods:

Thirty-five AF umpires [20 field (age: 24.7 ± 7.7 y, body mass: 74.3 ± 7.1 kg, Σ7 skinfolds: 67.8 ± 18.8 mm); 15 boundary (age: 29.6 ± 13.6 y, body mass: 71.9 ± 3.1 kg, Σ7 skinfolds: 65.6 ± 8.8 mm)] volunteered to participate in the study. Movement characteristics [total distance (TD), average running speed, high-intensity activity (HIA; >14.4 km·h–1) distance] and physiological measures [heart rate, blood lactate concentration ([BLa–]), and rating of perceived exertion] were collected during 20 state-based AF matches.

Results:

The mean (± SD) TD covered by field umpires was 11,492 ± 1,729 m, with boundary umpires covering 15,061 ± 1,749 m. The average running speed in field umpires was 103 ± 14 m·min-1, and was 134 ± 14 m·min-1 in boundary umpires. Field and boundary umpires covered 3,095 ± 752 m and 5,875 ± 1,590 m, during HIA, respectively. In the first quarter, HIA distance (field: P = .004, η2 = 0.071, boundary: P < .001, η2 = 0.180) and average running speed (field: P = .002, η2 = 0.078, boundary: P < .001, η2 = 0.191) were significantly greater than in subsequent quarters.

Conclusions:

The results demonstrate that both AF field and boundary umpires complete similar running demands to elite AF players and are subject to physical fatigue. Further research is warranted to see if this physical fatigue impacts on the cognitive function of AF umpires during match play.

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Craig Twist, Jamie Highton, Mark Waldron, Emma Edwards, Damien Austin and Tim J. Gabbett

Purpose:

This study compared the movement demands of players competing in matches from the elite Australian and European rugby league competitions.

Methods:

Global positioning system devices were used to measure 192 performances of forwards, adjustables, and outside backs during National Rugby League (NRL; n = 88) and European Super League (SL; n = 104) matches. Total and relative distances covered overall and at low (0–3.5 m/s), moderate (3.6–5 m/s), and high (>5 m/s) speeds were measured alongside changes in movement variables across the early, middle, and late phases of the season.

Results:

The relative distance covered in SL matches (95.8 ± 18.6 m/min) was significantly greater (P < .05) than in NRL matches (90.2 ± 8.3 m/min). Relative low-speed activity (70.3 ± 4.9 m/min vs 75.5 ± 18.9 m/min) and moderate-speed running (12.5 ± 3.3 m m/min vs 14.2 ± 3.8 m/min) were highest (P < .05) in the SL matches, and relative high-speed distance was greater (P < .05) during NRL matches (7.8 ± 2.1 m/min vs 6.1 ± 1.7 m/min).

Conclusions:

NRL players have better maintenance of high-speed running between the first and second halves of matches and perform less low- and moderate-speed activity, indicating that the NRL provides a higher standard of rugby league competition than the SL.

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Mário A.M. Simim, Gustavo R. da Mota, Moacir Marocolo, Bruno V.C. da Silva, Marco Túlio de Mello and Paul S. Bradley

metrics are also commonly quantified to provide a more multifaceted insight into match demands ( Akenhead & Nassis, 2016 ). More importance should be placed on this holistic approach when analyzing rarely studied soccer populations such as AS players as the demands could be even more unique given the

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Paul S. Bradley and Jack D. Ade

hundreds of publications centering on the physical match demands, little progress has been made regarding optimizing the array of metrics used by applied staff within clubs. The first in-depth study on this subject was published more than 40 years ago by the pioneer Professor Tom Reilly, 26 and since then

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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