Latest research in football - week 13 - 2021

As previous literature updates, I have performed a PubCrawler search looking for football articles in NCBI Medline (PubMed) and GenBank databases. 


Following studies were retrieved for this week:

#1 Predictive equations for resting metabolic rate are not appropriate to use in Brazilian male adolescent football athletes 

Reference: PLoS One. 2021 Jan 14;16(1):e0244970. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0244970. eCollection 2021. 

Authors: Taillan M Oliveira, Paula A Penna-Franca, Christian H Dias-Silva, Victor Z Bittencourt, Fabio F L C Cahuê, Sidnei J Fonseca-Junior, Anna Paola T R Pierucci

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Summary: High accuracy in estimating energy expenditure is essential for enhancing sports performance. The resting metabolic rate (RMR), as a primary component of total energy expenditure (TEE), is commonly estimated using predictive equations. However, these references may not be applicable to adolescent athletes. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to analyse the differences between predicted RMR in relation to energy expenditure measured by indirect calorimetry (IC) among 45 Brazilian male adolescent football athletes. Indirect calorimetry (IC) and anthropometric (bioimpedance) measurements were recorded at a single visit to the laboratory after fasting overnight. The mean age was 15.6 ± 1.14 years, body mass was 63.05 ± 7.8 kg, and height was 172 ± 7.5 cm. The RMR values predicted by equations proposed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (United Nations), Henry and Rees (HR), Harris Benedict (HB), and Cunningham (CUN) were compared with IC RMR values, by correlation analysis. The FAO and HR predictive equations yielded different values from IC (IC: 1716.26 ± 202.58, HR: 1864.87 ± 147.78, FAO: 1854.28 ± 130.19, p = 0.001). A moderate correlation of 0.504 was found between the results of HB and IC. In the survival-agreement model, the CUN equation showed low disagreement with the IC RMR, with error values between 200 and 300 kcal/day. The results showed that HB and CUN yielded similar values as IC, with the CUN equation showing low disagreement with IC; hence, adolescent athletes should undergo evaluation with precise laboratory methods to ensure that accurate information about RMR is recorded. 



#2 Who Will Score? A Machine Learning Approach to Supporting Football Team Building and Transfers

Reference: Entropy (Basel). 2021 Jan 10;23(1):E90. doi: 10.3390/e23010090. 

Authors: Bartosz Ćwiklinski, Agata Giełczyk, Michał Choraś

Summary: The machine learning (ML) techniques have been implemented in numerous applications, including health-care, security, entertainment, and sports. In this article, we present how the ML can be used for building a professional football team and planning player transfers. In this research, we defined numerous parameters for player assessment, and three definitions of a successful transfer. We used the Random Forest, Naive Bayes, and AdaBoost algorithms in order to predict the player transfer success. We used realistic, publicly available data in order to train and test the classifiers. In the article, we present numerous experiments; they differ in the weights of parameters, the successful transfer definitions, and other factors. We report promising results (accuracy = 0.82, precision = 0.84, recall = 0.82, and F1-score = 0.83). The presented research proves that machine learning can be helpful in professional football team building. The proposed algorithm will be developed in the future and it may be implemented as a professional tool for football talent scouts. 



#3 Injury Profile in Women's Football: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 

Reference: Sports Med. 2021 Jan 12. doi: 10.1007/s40279-020-01401-w. Online ahead of print. 

Authors: Alejandro López-Valenciano, Javier Raya-González, Jose Alberto Garcia-Gómez, Alba Aparicio-Sarmiento, Pilar Sainz de Baranda, Mark De Ste Croix, Francisco Ayala

Summary: Football is the most popular sport among women; however, little is known about the injury profile in this population. This information would help design tailored injury risk mitigation strategies that may make football safer for women. The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological data of injuries in women´s football. A systematic review following PRISMA guidelines was performed up to January 2020 in PubMed, Web of Science, Sportdiscus and the Cochrane Library databases. Twenty-two studies reporting the incidence of injuries in women football were analysed. Two reviewers independently extracted data (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] for inter-reviewer reliability = 0.87) and assessed study quality using the STROBE statement, GRADE approach, Newcastle Ottawa Scale and Downs and Black assessment tools. Studies were combined in pooled analyses (injury incidence and injury proportion) using a Poisson random effects regression model. The overall incidence of injuries in female football players was 6.1 injuries/1000 h of exposure. Match injury incidence (19.2 injuries/1000 h of exposure) was almost six times higher than training injury incidence rate (3.5 injuries/1000 h of exposure). Lower extremity injuries had the highest incidence rates (4.8 injuries/1000 h of exposure). The most common types of injuries were muscle/tendon (1.8 injuries/1000 h of exposure) and joint (non-bone) and ligament (1.5 injuries/1000 h of exposure), which were frequently associated with traumatic incidents. Slight/minimal injuries (1-3 days of time loss) were the most common. The incidence rate of injuries during matches in the top five world ranking leagues was higher than the rest of the leagues (19.3 vs 10.7 injuries/1000 h of exposure, respectively). The weighted injury proportion was 1.1 (95% confidence interval = 0.6-1.7) whereby on average players sustained more than one injury per season. Female football players are exposed to a substantial risk of sustaining injuries, especially during matches that require the highest level of performance. To markedly reduce overall injury burden, efforts should focus on introducing and evaluating preventative measures that target match specific dynamics to make football players more capable of responding to the challenges that they have to deal with during match play. 



#4 Influence of Traditional Sporting Games on the Development of Creative Skills in Team Sports. The Case of Football

Reference: Front Psychol. 2020 Dec 23;11:611803. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.611803. eCollection 2020. 

Authors: Alexandre Oboeuf , Sylvain Hanneton, Joséphine Buffet, Corinne Fantoni, Lazhar Labiadh

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Summary: The aim of this present study is to investigate the influence of three learning contexts on the development of motor creativity of young footballers (8-9 years old). In team sport, creativity is a fundamental issue because it allows players to adapt in an environment of high social uncertainty. To carry out this work, we suggest a method for assessing motor creativity into ecological situations based on the analysis of praxical communications. Creativity originates from an interaction between divergence and convergence. In our case, the number of communications (fluidity) and the diversity of updated communications (flexibility) are our divergence indicators. Convergence, understood as the ability to make good decisions, is assessed by two expert judges (R > 0.90). Sixty boys' football players (M = 8.67; SD = 0.3) coming from three football clubs participated in this research. The study lasted 2 years. Each year, a team of 10 players from each club participated in the research twice a week for 32 weeks (8 months), these groups attended different training sessions: (a) the control group (n = 20) followed a classical learning; (b) the decoding group (n = 20) attended training focused on learning the praxemes of football; (c) the traditional sporting games group (n = 20) followed a training session that was jointly focused on praxemes and the practice of traditional sporting games. The motor creativity of players and groups was assessed both at the beginning and at the end of the year during football matches. Compared to the control group, in the post-test, the group with the highest fluidity is the decoding group (p < 0.001) and the one with the highest fluidity is the traditional sporting games group. The latter group is also the one with the best convergence (p < 0.001). The results showed that traditional games can help develop players' creative abilities. This research invites us to investigate the complementarity between the different offered training. 



#5 Effect of acute football activity and physical fitness on glycaemic and insulinaemic responses in adolescents

Reference: J Sports Sci. 2021 Jan 11;1-9. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2020.1860362. Online ahead of print. 

Authors: Ryan A Williams, Simon Cooper, Karah J Dring, Lorna Hatch, John G Morris, Caroline Sunderland, Mary E Nevill

Summary: The present study examined the metabolic responses to an acute bout of football and the overall and moderating role of physical fitness on these responses, in adolescents. Thirty-six adolescents (16 girls, 20 boys; 12.6±0.5 y) completed two trials (60-min football and 60-min seated rest) separated by 7-d. Capillary blood samples were taken at baseline (60-min prior to exercise/rest), immediately, 30- and 60-min post-exercise and 30-, 60- and 120-min following a standardised lunch (1.5-, 2- and 3-h post-exercise), for the determination of blood glucose and plasma insulin concentrations. The median split of distance covered on the multi-stage fitness test was used to define high- and low-fit groups. Overall plasma insulin tAUC following lunch was lower in high-fit participants compared to low-fit (high-fit: 3784.2±1653.1 pmol·L-1x120min, low-fit: 6457.3±3290.7 pmol·L-1x120min; p<0.001), although there was no acute effect of the football session (p>0.05). Football reduced blood glucose concentration 1-h post-exercise compared to control (exercise: 3.8±0.6 mmol·L-1, rest: 4.6±0.8 mmol·L-1; p<0.001), but this was similar for the high- and low-fit participants (p>0.05). Blood glucose tAUC was not affected by exercise or physical fitness (p>0.05). These data emphasise the importance of physical fitness for metabolic health in adolescents, as well as the utility of football as a popular form of games-based activity for improving glucose regulation. 



#6 Effects of football fitness training on lymphedema and upper-extremity function in women after treatment for breast cancer: a randomized trial 

Reference: Acta Oncol. 2021 Jan 11;1-9. doi: 10.1080/0284186X.2020.1868570. Online ahead of print. 

Authors: Kira Bloomquist, Peter Krustrup, Bjørn Fristrup, Victor Sørensen, Jørn Wulff Helge, Eva Wulff Helge, Eva Soelberg Vadstrup, Mikael Rørth, Sandra C Hayes, Jacob Uth

Summary: Breast cancer survivors are encouraged to be physically active. A recent review suggests that football training is an effective exercise modality for women across the lifespan, positively influencing health variables such as strength, fitness and social well-being. However, football is a contact sport, potentially posing an increased risk of trauma-related injury. Against this backdrop, breast cancer survivors are advised to avoid trauma or injury to the affected or at-risk arm in order to protect against lymphedema onset or exacerbation. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the feasibility and safety of Football Fitness training in relation to lymphedema and upper-extremity function after treatment for breast cancer. Sixty-eight women aged 18-75 years, who had received surgery for stage I-III breast cancer and completed (neo) adjuvant chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy within five years, were randomized (2:1) to a Football Fitness group (FFG, n = 46) or a control group (CON, n = 22) for twelve months. Secondary analyses using linear mixed models were performed to assess changes in upper-body morbidity, specifically arm lymphedema (inter-arm volume % difference, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry; extracellular fluid (L-Dex), bioimpedance spectroscopy), self-reported breast and arm symptoms (EORTC breast cancer-specific questionnaire (BR23) and upper-extremity function (DASH questionnaire) at baseline, six- and twelve-month follow-up. We observed similar point prevalent cases of lymphedema between groups at all time points, irrespective of measurement method. At the six-month post-baseline assessment, reductions in L-Dex (extracellular fluid) were found in FFG versus CON. These significant findings were not maintained at the twelve-month assessment. No difference between groups was observed for inter-limb volume difference %, nor any of the remaining outcomes. While superiority of Football Fitness was not observed, the results support that participation in Football Fitness training is feasible and suggests no negative effects on breast cancer-specific upper-body morbidity, including lymphedema. 



#7 Playing Non-Professional Football in COVID-19 Time: A Narrative Review of Recommendations, Considerations, and Best Practices 

Reference: Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 12;18(2):E568. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18020568. 

Authors: Markel Rico-González, José Pino-Ortega, Luca Paolo Ardigò

Summary: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020 resulted in widespread interruption of team sports training and competitions. Our aim was to review the recommendations and best practices in return to play in non-professional football after activity lockdown. The authors searched two electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science) to extract studies published before September 15 2020. Twenty studies explained recommendations, considerations, or best practices in return to play in football, and all of them were clustered into three groups: (1) training load management (n = 10), (2) medical recommendations (n = 9), and (3) recovery related issues (n = 5). The way to establish a progression in training process should be based on training load management and managing the number of stimuli per time. Following the studies, this training process should be divided into three phases: phase 1-physical distancing should be maintained; phases 2 and 3-group training should start. Medical considerations were clustered into different groups: general, pre- and post- training, during training, education, planning to return to competition, and suggestions for post confinement weeks. In particular, social issues, strict hygiene questions, and continuous PCR testing should be considered in return to play over football season. Finally, since a correlation has been found between high-intensive training loads and immunoglobulin A, nutritional and lifestyle recovery strategies should be performed. Moreover, since immunosuppression has been related to congested schedules (<72 h between matches), football federations should avoid this situation. 



#8 Nontraumatic Exertional Fatalities in Football Players, Part 1: Letter to the Editor

Reference: Orthop J Sports Med. 2020 Dec 29;8(12):2325967120980395. doi: 10.1177/2325967120980395. eCollection 2020 Dec. 

Authors: William M Adams, Samantha E Scarneo-Miller, Rebecca L Stearns, Douglas J Casa

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#9 Internal and External Training Load in Under-19 versus Professional Soccer Players during the In-Season Period 

Reference: Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 11;18(2):E558. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18020558. 

Authors: Sullivan Coppalle, Guillaume Ravé, Jason Moran, Iyed Salhi, Abderraouf Ben Abderrahman, Sghaeir Zouita, Urs Granacher, Hassane Zouhal 

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Summary: This study aimed to compare the training load of a professional under-19 soccer team (U-19) to that of an elite adult team (EAT), from the same club, during the in-season period. Thirty-nine healthy soccer players were involved (EAT [n = 20]; U-19 [n = 19]) in the study which spanned four weeks. Training load (TL) was monitored as external TL, using a global positioning system (GPS), and internal TL, using a rating of perceived exertion (RPE). TL data were recorded after each training session. During soccer matches, players' RPEs were recorded. The internal TL was quantified daily by means of the session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE) using Borg's 0-10 scale. For GPS data, the selected running speed intensities (over 0.5 s time intervals) were 12-15.9 km/h; 16-19.9 km/h; 20-24.9 km/h; >25 km/h (sprint). Distances covered between 16 and 19.9 km/h, > 20 km/h and >25 km/h were significantly higher in U-19 compared to EAT over the course of the study (p = 0.023, d = 0.243, small; p = 0.016, d = 0.298, small; and p = 0.001, d = 0.564, small, respectively). EAT players performed significantly fewer sprints per week compared to U-19 players (p = 0.002, d = 0.526, small). RPE was significantly higher in U-19 compared to EAT (p = 0.001, d = 0.188, trivial). The external and internal measures of TL were significantly higher in the U-19 group compared to the EAT soccer players. In conclusion, the results obtained show that the training load is greater in U19 compared to EAT. 



#10 Evaluation of the accuracy of different body composition prediction formulas, compared to Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, in soccer players of Colombian professional teams

Reference: Nutr Hosp. 2021 Jan 15. doi: 10.20960/nh.03206. Online ahead of print. [Article in Spanish] 

Authors: Maximiliano Kammerer López, Natalia Del Carmen Ceballos Feria, Maria Camila Mayor Rengifo, Hugo Hernando Hoyos García, Santiago Gómez Velásquez

Summary: Professional soccer both in the local setting and in other countries is highly competitive, and those who practice it must have specific morphological, anthropometric, and body composition characteristics, in addition to constant monitoring of nutritional and training interventions. Currently, the gold-standard criterion for the evaluation of body composition is Dual Energy X-ray Absorciometry (DXA), which is a costly laboratory method with limited use for many professionals. Knowing which field methods obtain similar results to this would allow a better interdisciplinary approach, which could have a positive impact on sports performance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of different formulas for predicting fat percentage and fat mass, as compared to DXA, in Colombian soccer team players. A cross-sectional, analytical study using convenience sampling. A total of 79 professional male soccer players, belonging to 4 Colombian first and second division clubs, were included. Thirty anthropometric variables were measured, wherewith a descriptive analysis was performed using the SPSS v.21 program, and a procedure with analytical scope was carried out to establish concordance indices between different measurements using the Bland and Altman method. This statistical process was performed using the library (BlandAltmanLeh) of the statistical program "R". Average age was 23 ± 4.4 years, and the percentage of body fat was estimated using six equations: Jackson and Pollock (7.20 ± 2.58 %), Yuhasz as modified by Carter (7.52 ± 8.50 %), Reilly (10.04 ± 1.43 %), Faulkner (11.23 ± 11.90 %), Pariskova and Buskova (11.08 ± 16.06 %), and Durnin and Womersley (12.41 ± 20,10 %), in addition to the calculation of fat percentage for fat mass using the five-component method (13.17 ± 2.86 %). The percentage of body fat that showed the lowest intermethod difference was fractionation by five components (0.54 ± 3.56), followed by Durnin and Womersley (0.66 ± 3.52). The calculations of fat percentage using the fractionation of 5 components method and the Durnin and Womersley equation were closest to the results obtained by the gold-standard method (DXA) in soccer players of Colombian professional teams. 



#11 Prevalence of Low Energy Availability in Collegiate Women Soccer Athletes 

Reference:  J Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2020 Dec 18;5(4):96. doi: 10.3390/jfmk5040096. 

Authors: Meghan K Magee, Brittanie L Lockard, Hannah A Zabriskie, Alexis Q Schaefer, Joel A Luedke, Jacob L Erickson, Margaret T Jones, Andrew R Jagim

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Summary: Limited information exists on the prevalence of low energy availability (LEA) in collegiate team sports. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of LEA in collegiate women soccer players. Collegiate women soccer athletes (n = 18, height: 1.67 ± 0.05 m; body mass: 65.3 ± 7.9 kg; body fat %: 24.9 ± 5.6%) had their body composition and sport nutrition knowledge assessed in the pre-season. Energy availability was assessed mid-season using a 4-day dietary log and activity energy expenditure values from a team-based monitoring system. A validated screening tool was used to screen for LEA. The screening tool classified 56.3% of athletes as at risk of LEA (<30 kcal/kg of FFM); however, the actual dietary intake identified 67% as LEA. Athletes identified as non-LEA consumed significantly more absolute (p = 0.040) and relative (p = 0.004) energy than LEA athletes. There was a high prevalence of LEA among collegiate women soccer athletes. Although previously validated in women endurance athletes, the LEA screening tool was not effective in identifying those at risk of LEA in this sample of athletes. 



#12 Detection Accuracy of Soccer Players in Aerial Images Captured from Several Viewpoints

Reference: J Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2019 Jan 21;4(1):9. doi: 10.3390/jfmk4010009. 

Authors: Takuro Oki, Ryusuke Miyamoto, Hiroyuki Yomo, Shinsuke Hara

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Summary: In the fields of professional and amateur sports, players' health, physical and physiological conditions during exercise should be properly monitored and managed. The authors of this paper previously proposed a real-time vital-sign monitoring system for players using a wireless multi-hop sensor network that transmits their vital data. However, existing routing schemes based on the received signal strength indicator or global positioning system do not work well, because of the high speeds and the density of sensor nodes attached to players. To solve this problem, we proposed a novel scheme, image-assisted routing (IAR), which estimates the locations of sensor nodes using images captured from cameras mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles. However, it is not clear where the best viewpoints are for aerial player detection. In this study, the authors investigated detection accuracy from several viewpoints using an aerial-image dataset generated with computer graphics. Experimental results show that the detection accuracy was best when the viewpoints were slightly distant from just above the center of the field. In the best case, the detection accuracy was very good: 0.005524 miss rate at 0.01 false positive-per-image. These results are informative for player detection using aerial images and can facilitate to realize IAR. 



#13 The Physical Demands of NCAA Division I Women's College Soccer 

Reference: J Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2019 Dec 12;4(4):73. doi: 10.3390/jfmk4040073. 

Authors: Robert W Sausaman, Matt L Sams, Satoshi Mizuguchi, Brad H DeWeese, Michael H Stone

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Summary: Extensive research into women's collegiate soccer is scarce, leaving gaps in the literature with little information available detailing the physical demands at different standards of play. Our purpose was to elucidate the physical demands of the Division I collegiate level and identify differences between playing positions. Twenty-three field players were observed during four competitive seasons using 10-Hz GPS units (Catapult Sports, Melbourne, Australia). Descriptive statistics and 95% confidence intervals were used to determine group and position-specific physical demands. Linear mixed modelling (LMM) was used to compare attacker, midfielder, and defender position groups. Total distance, high-speed distance, and sprint distance were 9486 ± 300 m, 1014 ± 118 m, and 428 ± 70 m, respectively. Furthermore, attackers were observed to cover the greatest distance at all speeds compared to midfielders and defenders. Our findings suggest that the physical demands of Division I women's soccer differ by position and appear lower compared to higher standards of play. Therefore, coaches and sports scientists responsible for the physical training of Division I collegiate players should consider the specific physical demands of the collegiate level and playing position when prescribing training, as well as in the development of their annual training programs. 



#14 Lateral Ankle Sprains and Their Association with Physical Function in Young Soccer Players 

Reference: Open Access J Sports Med. 2021 Jan 12;12:1-10. doi: 10.2147/OAJSM.S283421. eCollection 2021. 

Authors: Kenichiro Murata, Tsukasa Kumai, Norikazu Hirose

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Summary: Lateral ankle sprain (LAS) in childhood can result in lateral malleolus avulsion fractures; additionally, bone nonunion may occur. Physical maturity relates to the development of bone morphology and physical functionality. It is unknown how changes in physical functionality attributable to physical maturity affect young soccer players with abnormal lateral malleolus (ALM) morphology. Hence, the present study aimed to investigate the bone morphology of the lateral malleolus in young soccer players and to examine its relationship with physical functionality at different maturity levels. Two hundred and ninety young soccer players aged 6-15 years were included. The presence of ALM was assessed using ultrasonography. The subjects were allocated to three groups based on physical maturity (Pre-, Mid-, and Post-peak height velocity age [PHVA]). The prevalence of ALM and the relationship between ALM and physical maturity were examined for body composition, foot pressure distribution, foot alignment, ankle mobility, and single-leg balance. The prevalence of ALM was 17.6%. For physical maturity, the post-PHVA group showed a decrease in ankle dorsiflexion and eversion and an increase in one-leg hop distance compared to the Pre-PHVA group (P < 0.05). In the ALM group, the center of pressure during heel raising was distributed laterally in the Post-PHVA (P < 0.01), and the weight-bearing dorsiflexion angle was decreased in the Mid- and Post-PHVA (P < 0.05). In the Post-PHVA young soccer players, decreased ankle dorsiflexion and eversion and increased one-leg hop distance were observed. The ALM group exhibited lateral loading during heel raising in the Post-PHVA group and decreased weight-bearing ankle dorsiflexion angle in the Mid- and Post-PHVA groups. The findings indicate the importance of secondary prevention of LAS and ultrasonography. Prospective studies of LAS in young athletes are required in the future. 


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