Influence of physical contact on pacing strategies during game-based activities

Johnston, Rich D. and Gabbett, Tim J. and Seibold, Anthony J. and Jenkins, David G. (2014) Influence of physical contact on pacing strategies during game-based activities. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 9 (5). pp. 811-816. ISSN 1555-0265


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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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Submitted version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 29 May 2017 03:38
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2017 01:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: contact sports; fatigue; physical demands; rugby; tackles
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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