Positional comparisons in the impact of fatigue on movement patterns in hockey.
Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine the influence of match period on the movement patterns of hockey players according to their playing position under the introduction of quarters. Methods: Sixteen sub-elite level Spanish National League male hockey players participated in the study (age: 25.5 ± 2.9 years; body mass: 74.6 ± 5.5 kg). Global Positioning Systems (GPS) devices were used to monitor players running performance during 17 competitive matches (113 match-play profiles). Only players who played for at least 85% of the game were analyzed. Players were categorized into three positions: backs, midfield and forwards. Results: Moderate to large differences in relative total distance were found between midfielders and both backs and forwards in all quarters (ES: 0.4-1.2). ES for total distance was moderate for midfields compared to backs during the first quarter (moderate ES: 0.7). Midfields and forwards covered more distance (m and m·min-1) in high velocity zones compared to backs (ES: 0.6). Acceleration activities (n·min-1) at moderate and high intensities decreased in all groups across quarters with ES moderate-to-very-large (ES: 0.4-1.4). Relative sprinting distance decreased in back players, (ES: 0.8). Backs sprinted had fewer repeated sprint bouts (n and n·min-1) less as game progressed (ES: 1.0). Conclusions: During competitive match-play a degree of positional variation can be observed across the quarters. The relative distance and the number of accelerations and decelerations at moderate and high intensity decreased across the quarters. No between quarters differences in regards to high-speed activity were reported.
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