Knowledge of bout duration influences pacing strategies during small-sided games

Sampson, John Andrew and Fullagar, Hugh Head Kelsham and Gabbett, Tim (2015) Knowledge of bout duration influences pacing strategies during small-sided games. Journal of Sports Sciences, 33 (1). pp. 85-98. ISSN 0264-0414


This investigation examines pacing during intermittent team sports. Sixteen junior Rugby League players participated in eight different small-sided offside touch games. All games were 24 min, but bout durations differed in continuous (1 × 24 min) or repeated (2 × 12, 3 × 8, 4 × 6, 6 × 4, 8 × 3, 12 × 2 or 24 × 1 min) formats. Repeat bouts were interspersed by 2 min of passive rest, and participants were informed of the bout duration immediately prior to the game. Heart rates, ratings of perceived exertion and data gathered from global positioning system devices were used to investigate the pacing strategies employed within each game. No significant (P > 0.05) between-game differences were observed in total distance; however, during the 1-min bouts, high-speed movement was significantly (P < 0.05) increased, during the first and second quarters of the 24 × 1-min game compared to all other formats (effect size range: 0.75 ± 0.61–1.38 ± 0.47). Furthermore, the rate of decline in high-speed movement over-time was greatest during the 24 × 1-min game with large differences observed between the first and third quarters (effect size: 0.90 ± 0.58). Greater moderate-speed (effect size range: 0.62 ± 0.63–1.56 ± 0.40) and less low-speed (effect size range: 0.69 ± 0.62–1.54 ± 0.40) distances were also observed during the 1-min bouts, yet heart rates were higher during the continuous 1 × 24-min game. Pacing strategies during intermittent activities are influenced by the number and duration of exercise bouts. Practitioners should consider within-game bout durations when prescribing game-based activities to improve aerobic capacity.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 31 May 2017 05:38
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2017 02:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: acceleration; GPS; physiological; rugby; velocity; adolescent; anticipation, psychological; athletic performance; geographic information systems; heart rate; humans; male; perception; physical exertion; soccer; time and motion studies
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
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