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Rich D. Johnston, Tim J. Gabbett, Anthony J. Seibold and David G. Jenkins

Purpose:

Repeated sprinting incorporating tackles leads to greater reductions in sprint performance than repeated sprinting alone. However, the influence of physical contact on the running demands of game-based activities is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine whether the addition of physical contact altered pacing strategies during game-based activities.

Methods:

Twenty-three elite youth rugby league players were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 played the contact game on day 1 while group 2 played the noncontact game; 72 h later they played the alternate game. Each game consisted of offside touch on a 30 × 70-m field, played over two 8-min halves. Rules were identical between games except the contact game included a 10-s wrestle bout every 50 s. Microtechnology devices were used to analyze player movements.

Results:

There were greater average reductions during the contact game for distance (25%, 38 m/min, vs 10%, 20 m/min; effect size [ES] = 1.78 ± 1.02) and low-speed distance (21%, 24 m/min, vs 0%, 2 m/s; ES = 1.38 ± 1.02) compared with the noncontact game. There were similar reductions in high-speed running (41%, 18 m/min, vs 45%, 15 m/min; ES = 0.15 ± 0.95).

Conclusions:

The addition of contact to game-based activities causes players to reduce low-speed activity in an attempt to maintain high-intensity activities. Despite this, players were unable to maintain high-speed running while performing contact efforts. Improving a player’s ability to perform contact efforts while maintaining running performance should be a focus in rugby league training.

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Thomas Mullen, Jamie Highton and Craig Twist

It is important to understand the extent to which physical contact changes the internal and external load during rugby simulations that aim to replicate the demands of match play. Accordingly, this study examined the role of physical contact on the physiological and perceptual demands during and immediately after a simulated rugby league match. Nineteen male rugby players completed a contact (CON) and a noncontact (NCON) version of the rugby league match-simulation protocol in a randomized crossover design with 1 wk between trials. Relative distance covered (ES = 1.27; ±0.29), low-intensity activity (ES = 1.13; ±0.31), high-intensity running (ES = 0.49; ±0.34), heart rate (ES = 0.52; ±0.35), blood lactate concentration (ES = 0.78; ±0.34), rating of perceived exertion (RPE) (ES = 0.72; ±0.38), and session RPE (ES = 1.45; ±0.51) were all higher in the CON than in the NCON trial. However, peak speeds were lower in the CON trial (ES = −0.99; ±0.40) despite unclear reductions in knee-extensor (ES = 0.19; ±0.40) and -flexor (ES = 0.07; ±0.43) torque. Muscle soreness was also greater after CON than in the NCON trial (ES = 0.97; ±0.55). The addition of physical contact to the movement demands of a simulated rugby league match increases many of the external and internal demands but also results in players’ slowing their peak running speed during sprints. These findings highlight the importance of including contacts in simulation protocols and training practices designed to replicate the demands of real match play.

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John Kerr

team contact sports other than rugby has provided evidence of both sanctioned and unsanctioned aggression. For example, ice hockey players, including some national-team players, found the physical-contact aspect of the sport attractive ( Theberge, 1999 ), and top-level soccer players found the

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Luke J. Boyd, Kevin Ball and Robert J. Aughey

Purpose:

To describe the external load of Australian football matches and training using accelerometers.

Methods:

Nineteen elite and 21 subelite Australian footballers wore accelerometers during matches and training. Accelerometer data were expressed in 2 ways: from all 3 axes (player load; PL) and from all axes when velocity was below 2 m/s (PLSLOW). Differences were determined between 4 playing positions (midfielders, nomadics, deeps, and ruckmen), 2 playing levels (elite and subelite), and matches and training using percentage change and effect size with 90% confidence intervals.

Results:

In the elite group, midfielders recorded higher PL than nomadics and deeps did (8.8%, 0.59 ± 0.24; 34.2%, 1.83 ± 0.39 respectively), and ruckmen were higher than deeps (37.2%, 1.27 ± 0.51). Elite midfielders, nomadics, and ruckmen recorded higher PLSLOW than deeps (13.5%, 0.65 ± 0.37; 11.7%, 0.55 ± 0.36; and 19.5%, 0.83 ± 0.50, respectively). Subelite midfielders were higher than nomadics, deeps, and ruckmen (14.0%, 1.08 ± 0.30; 31.7%, 2.61 ± 0.42; and 19.9%, 0.81 ± 0.55, respectively), and nomadics and ruckmen were higher than deeps for PL (20.6%, 1.45 ± 0.38; and 17.4%, 0.57 ± 0.55, respectively). Elite midfielders, nomadics, and ruckmen recorded higher PL (7.8%, 0.59 ± 0.29; 12.9%, 0.89 ± 0.25; and 18.0%, 0.67 ± 0.59, respectively) and PLSLOW (9.4%, 0.52 ± 0.30; 11.3%, 0.68 ± 0.25; and 14.1%, 0.84 ± 0.61, respectively) than subelite players. Small-sided games recorded the highest PL and PLSLOW and were the only training drill to equal or exceed the load from matches across positions and playing levels.

Conclusion:

PL differed between positions, with midfielders the highest, and between playing levels, with elite higher. Differences between matches and training were also evident, with PL from small-sided games equivalent to or higher than matches.

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Steven H. Doeven, Michel S. Brink, Barbara C.H. Huijgen, Johan de Jong and Koen A.P.M. Lemmink

accumulate over multiple matches per day and cause high-perceived stress. 3 , 6 Moreover, players have to cope with only ∼3 hours of rest between the consecutive matches for multiple days. So, high match intensity, physical contacts (PC), and congested schedules result in extremely high levels of physical

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Jonathan P. Norris, Jamie Highton and Craig Twist

league performance. 3 Conversely, match simulations are adequately reliable 4 , 5 for the investigation of the influence of physical contact on performance, 6 nutritional interventions, 7 knowledge of task endpoint on pacing strategies, 8 and the metabolic requirements of performance. 9 Despite

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Kimberly Place and Samuel R. Hodge

The purpose was to describe the behaviors of eighth-grade students with and without physical disabilities relative to social inclusion in a general physical education program. Participants were 3 girls with physical disabilities and 19 classmates (11 females, 8 males) without disabilities. The method was case study. Data for a 6-week softball unit were collected using videotapes, live observations, and interviews. Findings indicated that students with and without disabilities infrequently engaged in social interactions. Average percentage of time that classmates gave to students with disabilities was 2% social talk and less than 1% in each category for praise, use of first name, feedback, and physical contact. Two themes emerged in this regard: segregated inclusion and social isolation. Students with disabilities interacted with each other to a greater degree than with classmates without disabilities. Analysis of use of academic learning time revealed different percentages for students with and without disabilities.

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Lori Rittenhouse-Wollmuth, Cindra S. Kamphoff and Jon Lim

Historically, the world of sport is considered a masculine domain characterized by power, aggression, and physical contact (Hall, 1996). The exclusionary elements of the male culture of sport have created gender inequities in participation (Birrell & Theberge, 1994), and a gendered perception of male and female coaches (Frankl & Babitt, 1998; Weinberg, Reveles, & Jackson, 1984). The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of male and female collegiate athletes of a hypothetical male and female coach, and to determine if female coaches are more accepted compared to Weinberg et al.’s study investigating male and female athletes’ perceptions of a hypothetical coach. The Attitudinal Questionnaire (Weinberg, Reveles, & Jackson, 1984) was utilized to determine athletes’ attitudes about a hypothetical coach. A 2 × 2 MANOVA indicated a significant interaction between the gender of a hypothetical head coach and the gender of an athlete, and a significant main effect for gender. Univariate ANOVA results indicate that males and females differed in their attitudes and perceptions of both a hypothetical male and female head coach. The female athletes, compared to male athletes, were more likely to be accepting of coaches regardless of the coaches’ gender. Furthermore, male athletes were less accepting of female coaches. In addition, when comparing the means of the current study to Weinberg et al.’s (1984) study, results indicate that female coaches were not more accepted than in 1984.

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Mark Mierzwinski, Philippa Velija and Dominic Malcolm

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), like the majority of relatively violent sports, has mainly been organized around the capabilities of the male body. However various indices suggest that women’s engagement with MMA is growing. The purpose of this paper is to offer an analysis of women’s involvement in MMA using a figurational sociological approach. In doing so, we draw on interview data with “elite” female mixed martial artists to explore the extent to which females within MMA experience a specifically gendered “quest for excitement.” The paper further illustrates how the notion of “civilized bodies” can be used to interpret the distinctly gendered experiences of shame in relation to fighting in combat sports, the physical markings incurred as a consequence, and perceptions of sexual intimacy in the close physical contact of bodies. In so doing this paper provides the first figurationally-informed study of female sport involvement to focus explicitly on the role of violence in mediating social relations, while refining aspects of the figurational sociological approach to provide a more adequate framework for the analysis of gender relations.

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John M. Silva III

Some sport scientists have suggested that various rule violating behaviors (including aggressive player behavior) are normative behaviors perceived to be “legitimate violations” by participants (e.g., Silva, 1981; Vaz, 1979). In an attempt to determine if sport socialization influences the degree of perceived legitimacy of rule violating sport behavior, 203 male and female athletes and nonathletes were shown a series of eight slides. Seven of these slides clearly depicted rule violating behavior. The subjects rated the unacceptability-acceptability of the behavior shown on each slide on a scale of 1 to 4 (totally unacceptable-totally acceptable). Subjects were categorized according to: (a) gender, (b) amount of physical contact, (c) highest level of organized sport participation, and (d) years of participation. Regression and polynomial regressions indicated that male respondents rated rule violating behavior significantly more acceptable than females. Trend analyses on the other categorical variables indicated support for an in-sport socialization process that legitimizes rule violating behavior. This perceived legitimacy was considerably more pronounced for males than for females at all levels of analysis.