Latest research in football - week 37 - 2022

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 T-pattern analysis of offensive and defensive actions of youth football goalkeepers

Reference: Front Psychol. 2022 Sep 2;13:957858. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.957858. eCollection 2022.

Authors: Fernando Santos, João Santos, Mário Espada, Cátia Ferreira, Paulo Sousa, Valter Pinheiro

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Summary: Nowadays, football goalkeepers (GKs) play an important role in the team's organization, namely, considering the offensive and defensive processes. The purpose of our investigation focuses on the notational and T-pattern analysis of the offensive and defensive actions of elite young football GKs. The participating GKs (n = 3, mean age of 16.6 years) presented 8 years of experience in the specific position, were internationally selected for the national team of Portugal, and competed in the national U-17 championship of Portugal. Thirty football matches were observed. The observational sample consisted of defensive actions (n = 225) and offensive actions (n = 296). Two observational instruments were used to codify the actions: the observation system of defensive technical-tactical actions of GKs and the observation system of offensive technical-tactical actions of GKs. Both instruments underwent a validation process, and inter- and intra-observer reliability was tested. The codification of the actions was performed with the LINCE program, and later the data were exported to Microsoft Excel and THEME 5.0. The notational data were analyzed in SPSS, and T-pattern detection analysis was performed in THEME 5.0. The predominant actions of young observed GKs were fundamentally goal defense and participation in the team's offensive process construction through actions performed with the foot and hand. The analysis of T-patterns allowed to identify T-pattern actions in the defensive actions of goal defense and exit of the goal, as well as related to the defensive set pieces. In the offensive process, the analysis of T-patterns reinforced the participation of the GK in the team's first phase of construction and in the execution of goal kicks and actions that start as a result of the actions of the opponent. The GK's defensive actions are mostly focused on the objective of goal defense and offensive actions with the hands and feet are important for their participation in positional attack construction. Our study contributes to a better knowledge of the GK's actions in the competition and is relevant to be considered by the specific position coaches in the training process organization.



#2 Weekly Training Load across a Standard Microcycle in a Sub-Elite Youth Football Academy: A Comparison between Starters and Non-Starters

Reference: Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 15;19(18):11611. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191811611.

Authors: José E Teixeira, Luís Branquinho, Ricardo Ferraz, Miguel Leal, António J Silva, Tiago M Barbosa, António M Monteiro, Pedro Forte

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Summary: Compensatory training sessions have been highlighted as useful strategies to solve the differential weekly training load between the players' starting status. However, the influence of the players' starting status is still understudied in sub-elite youth football. Thus, the aim of this study was to compare the weekly training load on a standard microcycle in starters and non-starters of a sub-elite youth football academy. The weekly training load of 60 young sub-elite football players was monitored during a 6-week period using an 18 Hz global positioning system (GPS), 1 Hz telemetry heart rate, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and total quality recovery (TQR). The total distance (TD) covered presented a significant difference between starters and non-starters with a moderate effect (t = -2.38, Δ = -428.03 m, p = 0.018, d = 0.26). Training volume was higher in non-starters than in starter players (TDStarters = 5105.53 ± 1684.22 vs. TDNon-starters = 5533.56 ± 1549.26 m). Significant interactive effects were found between a player's starting status, playing time, and session duration in overall training load variables for within (F = 140.46; η2 = 0.85; p < 0.001) and between-subjects (F = 11.63 to 160.70; η2 = 0.05 to 0.76; p < 0.001). The player's starting status seems to only influence the training volume in sub-elite youth football, unless one considers the covariance of the playing time and session duration. Consequently, coaches should prioritize complementary training to equalize training volume and emphasize similar practice opportunities for non-starters. Future studies should evaluate the gap between training and match load, measuring the impact of recovery and compensatory sessions.



#3 The Effect of Selected Polymorphisms of the ACTN3, ACE, HIF1A and PPARA Genes on the Immediate Supercompensation Training Effect of Elite Slovak Endurance Runners and Football Players

Reference: Genes (Basel). 2022 Aug 25;13(9):1525. doi: 10.3390/genes13091525.

Authors: Dávid Végh, Katarína Reichwalderová, Miroslava Slaninová, Miroslav Vavák

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Summary: We aimed to evaluate the effect of selected polymorphisms of the ACTN3, ACE, HIF1A and PPARA genes on the immediate supercompensation training effect of elite Slovak endurance runners and football players compared with a sedentary control group. Adaptation effect levels were evaluated by 10 s continuous vertical jump test parameters measured by Optojump. Genetic polymorphisms were determined by PCR and Sanger sequencing. We found significant differences in the effect of PPARA genotypes in the experimental group. C allele genotypes represented an advantage in immediate supercompensation (p < 0.05). We observed a significant combined effect of multiple genes on immediate supercompensation (p < 0.05): the RR genotype of the ACTN3 gene, the ID genotype of the ACE gene, the Pro/Pro genotype of HIF1A, and the GC and GG genotypes of PPARA genes. In the control group, we found a significant effect (p < 0.05) on immediate supercompensation of the II genotype of the ACE gene and the Pro/Ser genotype of the HIF1A gene. We found significant differences in genotype frequency of ACE (p < 0.01) and PPARA (p < 0.001) genes. We confirmed that individual genetic polymorphisms of ACTN3, ACE, HIF1A and PPARA genes have a different effect on the level of immediate supercompensation of the lower limbs depending on the training adaptation of the probands and the combination of genotypes.



#4 Soccer and Risk of Cardiovascular Events

Reference: Cardiol Res. 2022 Aug;13(4):218-227. doi: 10.14740/cr1398. Epub 2022 Aug 15.

Authors: Juan Enrique Puche

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Summary: Physical and emotional stress have been associated with an increased incidence of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Sporting events such as soccer matches can cause spectators to experience cardiovascular events. The objective of the present study was to determine whether an association of this type existed during a Spanish league competition. We recorded data from patients who were admitted with ACS during 2018 - 2020. Patients were divided into two groups: those who were admitted on the day the local team played and those who were admitted on nonmatch days. We determined various cardiovascular risk factors, including the degree of hostility and anxiety. Away wins reduced the number of admissions with ACS by 30%, whereas a local loss increased hospitalizations by more than 30%. The profile of patient admitted on match days was a > 65 years old man, smoker (current or past), obese, with worse control of his hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia, poor pharmacological adherence and high anxiety and hostility scores. A loss by the local team increases the number of admissions with ACS in males with a high burden of cardiovascular risk factors. Primary prevention measures should be taken to reduce the frequency of these events.



#5 Video analysis of Achilles tendon rupture in male professional football (soccer) players: injury mechanisms, patterns and biomechanics

Reference: BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2022 Sep 22;8(3):e001419. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2022-001419. eCollection 2022.

Authors: Francesco Della Villa, Matthew Buckthorpe, Fillippo Tosarelli, Matteo Zago, Stefano Zaffagnini, Alberto Grassi

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Summary: Achilles tendon rupture (ATR), while rare in football, is a severe career-threatening injury associated with long-layoff times. To date, no study has documented ATR's mechanism in professional football players. The aim was to describe the mechanisms, situational patterns and gross biomechanics (kinematics) of ATR injuries in professional male football players. Eighty-six (n=86) consecutive ATR injuries in professional football players during official matches were identified. Sixty (70%) injury videos were identified for mechanism and situational pattern, with biomechanical analysis feasible in 42 cases. Three independent reviewers evaluated the injury videos. Distribution of ATR during the season, the match play and on the field were also reported. Fifty (n=50, 83%) injuries were classified as non-contact and 10 (17%) as indirect contact. ATRs are injuries occurring during accelerations; three main situational patterns were identified: (1) forward acceleration from standing (n=25, 42%); (2) cross-over cutting (n=15, 25%) and (3) vertical jumping (n=11, 18%). Biomechanically, ATR injuries were consistent with a multiplanar loading at the injury frame consisting of a slightly flexed trunk (15.5°), extended hip (-19.5°), early flexed knee (22.5°) and end-range dorsiflexed (40°) ankle in the sagittal plane and foot pronation; 27 (45%) ATRs occurred in the first 30 min of effective match time. All ATRs in professional football were either non-contact (83%) or indirect contact (17%) injuries. The most common situational patterns were forward acceleration from standing, cross-over cutting and vertical jumping. Biomechanics was consistent and probably triggered by a multiplanar, although predominantly sagittal, loading of the injured Achilles tendon.



#6 Bio-banding in soccer: Past, present, and future

Reference: Ann Hum Biol. 2022 Sep 27;1-12. doi: 10.1080/03014460.2022.2129091. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Chris Towlson, Sean P Cumming

Summary: Maturity-related selection biases are engrained within professional academy soccer programmes. The process of grouping of children by biological maturity ("bio-banding"), rather than age is not new. However, practice of bio-banding is becoming increasingly popular with youth soccer development programmes where maturity-related differences in size and athleticism have been cited as key mechanisms behind the over-selection of early over late maturing players. However, the objectives of bio-banding require further clarity to avoid a disconnect between contemporary academic evidence and present and future practitioner practice. Therefore, the purpose of this commentary is to 1) provide a concise overview of the literature (to date), 2) identify possible applications of bio-banding to permit more informed decisions relating to the evaluation and management of young soccer players and (3) propose future directions for both research and applied practice.



#7 Head Impact Sensor Attachment and Data Transformation in a Youth Female Soccer Heading Drill

Reference: Conf Proc Int Res Counc Biomech Inj. 2020;2020:870-871.

Authors: Declan A Patton, Colin M Huber, Kristy B Arbogast

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#8 Physical Performance Indicators and Team Success in the German Soccer League

Reference: J Hum Kinet. 2022 Sep 8;83:257-265. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2022-0099. eCollection 2022 Aug.

Authors: Paweł Chmura, José M Oliva-Lozano, José M Muyor, Marcin Andrzejewski, Jan Chmura, Sławomir Czarniecki, Edward Kowalczuk, Andrzej Rokita, Marek Konefał

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Summary: The aims of this study were (1) to determine the match running performance required by different teams based on their final ranking position and (2) to analyze the association between match running performance variables and team success at the end of the season. A total of 1,224 match observations from professional soccer teams competing during two consecutive seasons in the German Bundesliga were analyzed. In addition, the final league ranking position and the total of points obtained by each team at the end of the season were registered for the analysis of the association between team success and match running performance. The main findings were that high ranked teams covered the greatest total distance with ball possession, sprinting distance with ball possession, and completed the greatest number of sprinting actions with ball possession and maximal velocity. Moreover, total distance covered with possession of the ball and maximal velocity were the most important variables to predict the total of points obtained at the end of the season. Specifically, the relative contribution of total distance covered with ball possession to the total of points obtained was greater than maximal velocity. Training programs for professional soccer players should be focused on improving the sprint capacity and running with possession of the ball (e.g., transitional tasks and small-sided games). Moreover, this has implications for injury prevention, physical, psychological, and technical-tactical training since today's soccer requires players to engage in repeated high-intensity actions, reach maximum speeds above 9 m/s, and develop technical-tactical coordination when running with the ball.



#9 Influence of physical and psychological stress on decision-making performance of soccer referees

Reference: J Sports Sci. 2022 Sep 29;1-10. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2022.2127516. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Alexandra Pizzera, Sylvain Laborde, Johannes Lahey, Patrick Wahl

Summary: Soccer referees have to make quick and accurate decisions while experiencing physical stress (i.e., fatigue) and psychological stress (i.e., pressure from the crowd). Researchers have examined the influence of physical and psychological stress on skilled referees' decision-making performance separately; however, referees usually experience both types of stress simultaneously. The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of both physical and psychological stress on skilled and less-skilled soccer referees' decision-making performance. To simulate the physical and psychological stress during a game, 25 referees were asked to make foul decisions while running on a treadmill and/or being exposed to auditory stress. Referees were more physically fatigued in the physical and psychologically stressed in the psychological stress condition. However, this only negatively influenced their decision-making performance in the video test during the submaximal physical stress condition, when compared to the resting condition. The results also indicate that the experienced referees learned to cope with fatigue and psychological stress regarding their cognitive processes. The effects seem to be differentially detrimental, depending on the league level of refereeing, but also whether physical and psychological stress are induced separately. The study protocol could help referees train in a simulated learning environment, besides on-field games.



#10 Predicting the in-game status in soccer with machine learning using spatiotemporal player tracking data

Reference: Sci Rep. 2022 Sep 29;12(1):16291. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-19948-1.

Authors: Steffen Lang, Raphael Wild, Alexander Isenko, Daniel Link

Summary: An important structuring feature of a soccer match is the in-game status, whether a match is interrupted or in play. This is necessary to calculate performance indicators relative to the effective playing time or to find standard situations, ball actions, and other tactical structures in spatiotemporal data. Our study explores the extent to which the in-game status can be determined using time-continuous player positions. Therefore, to determine the in-game status we tested four established machine learning methods: logistic regression, decision trees, random forests, and AdaBoost. The models were trained and evaluated using spatiotemporal data and manually annotated in-game status of 102 matches in the German Bundesliga. Results show up to 92% accuracy in predicting the in-game status in previously unknown matches on frame level. The best performing method, AdaBoost, shows 81% precision for detecting stoppages (longer than 2 s). The absolute time shift error at the start was ≤ 2 s for 77% and 81% at the end for all correctly predicted stoppages. The mean error of the in-game total distance covered per player per match using the AdaBoost in-game status prediction was - 102 ± 273 m, which is 1.3% of the mean value of this performance indicator (7939 m). Conclusively, the prediction quality of our model is high enough to provide merit for performance diagnostics when teams have access to player positions (e.g., from GPS/LPM systems) but no human-annotated in-game status and/or ball position data, such as in amateur or youth soccer.



#11 Differences in Physical Match Performance and Injury Occurrence Before and After the COVID-19 Break in Professional European Soccer Leagues: A Systematic Review

Reference: Sports Med Open. 2022 Sep 30;8(1):121. doi: 10.1186/s40798-022-00505-z.

Authors: Maximiliane Thron, Peter Düking, Sascha Härtel, Alexander Woll, Stefan Altmann

Summary: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, matches and soccer-specific training were suspended for several weeks, matches after resumption were congested, and substitutions per team and game increased from three to five. The aim of this review was to examine possible differences in physical match performance and injuries between before and after the COVID-19 induced break of matches and training in professional male European soccer leagues during the 2019/2020 season. A systematic search identified all scientifically peer-reviewed publications involving elite male soccer players competing in the European leagues which reported physical match performance variables such as total running distance and running distance at different speed zones and/or injury parameters pre- and post-COVID-19 induced break. In total, 11 articles were included, which were coming from German Bundesliga, Polish Ekstraklasa, Croatian HNL, Spanish La Liga, and Italian Serie A. In all studies investigating the German Bundesliga, most parameters of physical match performance remained unaffected (0.08 ≤ p ≤ 0.82; - 0.15 ≤ ES 0.15), while studies investigating the Polish Ekstraklasa (p ≤ 0.03; - 0.27 ≤ ES - 0.18), Croatian HNL (p ≤ 0.04; - 1.42 ≤ ES ≤ 1.44), Spanish La Liga (p ≤ 0.017; - 0.32 ≤ ES ≤ 5.5), and Italian Serie A (p ≤ 0.014; - 1.01 ≤ ES 0.24) showed a decrease in most parameters of physical match performance after the COVID-19 break. Injury rates were only investigated by studies targeting the German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A. In the majority of studies (3 out of 4 studies), there occurred no difference in injuries between pre- and post-COVID-19 break (p > 0.05; ES = N/A). Results indicate that Bundesliga teams maintained physical match performance during the 9-weeks break in matches and 3-weeks break in group training, whereas a longer match and group training interruption up to 15 weeks and 8 weeks, respectively, in the other leagues appeared to lead to a decreased physical match performance. Regarding injuries, we speculate that the increase in substitutions from 3 to 5 substitutions per game might prevent an increase in injury occurrence during matches. The underlying studies' results provide hints for possible upcoming unexpected interruptions with respect to optimal physical preparations for the resumption of matches and a congested schedule to maintain physical match performance, or for possible rule changes such as 5 instead of 3 substitutions to avoid physical overload during congested match schedules.



#12 External Workload Compared Between Competitive and Non-Competitive Matches for Professional Male Soccer Players

Reference: J Hum Kinet. 2022 Sep 8;83:175-184. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2022-0057. eCollection 2022 Aug.

Authors: Jose Asian-Clemente, Bermardo Requena, Adam Owen, Alfredo Santalla

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Summary: The purpose of this study was to compare the external load in competitive (official) and non-competitive matches (friendly, training and modified-sided games) in professional soccer players. Time-motion data for 10 elite male soccer players (age = 20.1 ± 2.1 years; body height = 178.8 ± 5.9; body mass = 71.4 ± 7.3; % body fat = 11.0 ± 1.1 and VO2max = 55.96 ± 3.3) from a professional Spanish first division team were recorded during official (n = 12), friendly (n = 7) and training (n = 6) matches and a 5 vs. 5 + goalkeepers modified-sided game (n = 3). GPS devices were used to monitor players' external loads: total distance covered, distance covered at different speeds (<13.9 km·h-1, >14, >18, >21 and >25 km·h-1), peak speed (km·h-1), and the number of accelerations and decelerations (1.5-2.5 m·s-2, 2.5-4 m·s-2 and 4-8 m·s-2). One-way analysis of variance of the magnitude-based inference was used to determine differences between matches. Data indicated that official matches scored statistically higher peak speeds (ES = 1.40-2.20). In modified-sided games more total distance was covered at <13.9 km·h-1 and >14 km·h-1 than in regular matches (ES = 0.72-2.21), but lower distances were covered at >21 km·h-1 and >25 km·h-1 than in official and friendly matches (ES = 0.51-2.53) and at >25 km·h-1 than in training matches (ES = 0.92). Likewise, the modified-side games showed a greater number of accelerations and decelerations than other types of matches (ES = 1.46-2.51). This work shows that friendly and training matches, in conjunction with modified-side games, are suitable tools to prepare soccer players for official matches.



#13 High metabolic load distance in professional soccer according to competitive level and playing positions

Reference: PeerJ. 2022 Sep 20;10:e13318. doi: 10.7717/peerj.13318. eCollection 2022.

Authors: Tomás García-Calvo, José Carlos Ponce-Bordón, Eduard Pons, Roberto López Del Campo, Ricardo Resta, Javier Raya-González

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Summary: High metabolic load distance provides global information about the soccer players' total high-intensity activities. Thus, this study aimed to examine the Spanish professional soccer players' high metabolic load distance profile, comparing competitive level and playing positions. A total of 18,131 individual match observations were collected from outfield players competing during the 2018/2019 and 2019/20 seasons in the First and Second Spanish Professional Soccer Leagues (LaLiga™). High Metabolic Load Distance (HMLD; distance covered with a power consumption above 25.5 W·kg-1 and accelerations or decelerations (e.g., accelerating from 2 to 4 m·s-2 for 1 s) were included), and HMLD per minute (HMLDmin) were analyzed by the ChryonHego® video-tracking system. Players were classified according to their playing position as follows: Central Backs (CB), Full Backs (FB), Center Midfields (CM), Wide Midfields (WM), and Forwards (FW). No differences between competitive levels were found in any variable when all players were analyzed conjointly except for HMLDmin overall and during the second half. However, when playing positions were considered, differences between competitive levels were observed in all positions, mainly in HMLD and HMLD during the first-half variables. In addition, several differences between playing positions were observed, with CB presenting the lowest values in all variables compared to their counterparts in both competitive levels, whereas CM in First Division and WM in Second Division showed the highest values in the HMLD variables. The findings are of interest to analyze the HMLD in professional soccer players, enabling the adaptation and individualization of training in this population according to the competitive level and specific playing position of each player.



#14 Evaluation of Water Intake in Spanish Adolescent Soccer Players during a Competition

Reference: J Hum Kinet. 2022 Sep 8;83:59-66. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2022-0051. eCollection 2022 Aug.

Authors: María Del Mar Fernández-Álvarez, Judit Cachero-Rodríguez, Claudia Leirós-Díaz, Sergio Carrasco-Santos, Rubén Martín-Payo

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Summary: An optimal state of hydration is essential to maintaining health. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the water intake of adolescents aged 12 to 16 years and their hydration level during an official soccer match. Three hundred and six players participated in the study (N = 306). Their water intake was recorded and the level of hydration was evaluated using the density of urine as an indicator. Weight measurements were made before and after the match. Water intake control, urine collection and analysis, and the recording of minutes played were carried out after the match. The average weight loss was 746.2 g (SD: 474.07; p < 0.001), with 36.5% with less than 1% loss and 23.3% with more than 2% loss. The mean volume of water ingested was 229.35 ml (SD: 211.11) and a significant correlation was observed between minutes of activity (ρ-value = 0.206; p < 0.001), environmental humidity (ρ-value = - 0.281; p < 0.001), and temperature (ρ-value = 0.200; p < 0.001). The sweat rate was 0.69 l/h (SD: 0.56) and it was significantly associated with playing time (ρ-value = -0.276; p < 0.001). The mean urine density was 1.019 (SD: 0.007), with 64.9% of youth athletes showing dehydration (≥ 1.020). An association was observed between dehydration and activity time (U- value = 4.124; p < 0.001). Approximately 10% of the participants stated that they had not drunk any water during the match. In conclusion, it is necessary to establish individual hydration guidelines based on personal, environmental and activity-related factors, as well as establish a minimum volume of fluids to consume.



#15 Does the Self-Myofascial Release Affect the Activity of Selected Lower Limb Muscles of Soccer Players?

Reference: J Hum Kinet. 2022 Sep 8;83:49-57. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2022-0050. eCollection 2022 Aug.

Authors: Tomasz Michalski, Tomasz Król, Piotr Michalik, Magdalena Rutkowska, Magdalena Dąbrowska-Galas, Damian Ziaja, Michał Kuszewski

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Summary: Myofascial therapy has already become one of the basic forms of treatment of the locomotor system. One form of the therapy is Self-Myofascial Release, in which external force is applied to the body with the help of special rollers (foam rolling, FR). The aim of the study was to investigate the direct effect of Self-Myofascial Release of hamstring muscles using a foam roller on the bioelectric activity of selected muscles (biceps femoris and gluteus maximus) during squats. The study involved 40 male soccer players, who were randomly divided into two groups: experimental and control. The tests used did not show significant differences in the analyzed variables before the experiment (baseline measurement p > 0.05), while significant intergroup differences appeared for subsequent measurements, both for reference MVC values (p < 0.01 - for % gluteus maximus MVC, p < 0.001 - for % biceps femoris MVC) and for raw EMG values (p < 0.01 gluteus maximus and p < 0.001 - for % 0.0001 for biceps femoris). The use of self-myofascial release within the hamstring muscles leads to changes in the electrical potential of the muscles of the lower limb.



#16 External and Internal Training Loads for Intensive and Extensive Tactical-Conditioning in Soccer Small Sided Games

Reference: J Hum Kinet. 2022 Sep 8;83:165-173. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2022-0083. eCollection 2022 Aug.

Authors: Vinicius Zanetti, Marcelo Saldanha Aoki, Paul S Bradley, Alexandre Moreira

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Summary: This study aimed to investigate the external (ETLs; 15-Hz GPS unit coupled with a 100 Hz tri-axial accelerometer) and internal training loads (ITLs; session-RPE method) of 18 elite U20 soccer players (19 ± 1.0 years, 178 ± 8 cm, 71 ± 7 kg) undertaking a tactical-conditioning training program with special reference to small-sided games (SSGs). The SSGs used in this program were either extensive (SSG-extensive) or intensive (SSG-intensive) training sessions, that were alternated within the assessed weeks. Tactical principles of the game influenced the aim of the technical-tactical content. Total distance (TDR; ES: 1.17), and a very high-speed running distance (HSR; ES: 0.96) were greater in SSG-extensive vs. SSG-intensive. However, no meaningful difference was found for accelerations (ACC; ES: 0.12) and decelerations (DEC; ES: 0.08). However, a higher perceived intensity (session-RPE; ES: 0.62) and greater ITLs (ES: 0.27) were found for SSG-intensive. These findings suggest that coaches should prescribe SSG training sessions not only considering the usual variables (rules, player numbers, etc.). The current data indicate that the tactical objective of SSGs in relation to exercise bout duration and rest intervals should be considered, while implementing a multi-dimensional training monitoring program during SSG tactical-conditioning training sessions, integrating ETL and ITL variables to gain a better understanding of training responses.



#17 (Not) being granted the right to belong-Amateur football clubs in Germany

Reference: Int Rev Sociol Sport. 2022 Nov;57(7):1157-1174. doi: 10.1177/10126902211061303. Epub 2021 Dec 8.

Authors: Tina Nobis, Carlos Gomez-Gonzalez, Cornel Nesseler, Helmut Dietl

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Summary: Empirical studies show that first- and second-generation immigrants are less likely to be members of sports clubs than their non-immigrant peers. Common explanations are cultural differences and socioeconomic disadvantages. However, lower participation rates in amateur sport could be at least partly due to ethnic discrimination. Are minority ethnic groups granted the same right to belong as their non-immigrant peers? To answer this question, this paper uses publicly available data from a field experiment in which mock applications were sent out to over 1,600 football clubs in Germany. Having a foreign-sounding name significantly reduces the likelihood of being invited to participate. The paper concludes that amateur football clubs are not as permeable as they are often perceived to be. It claims that traditional explanations for lower participation rates of immigrants need to be revisited.



#18 Safety of International Professional Sports Competitions During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Association Football Experience

Reference: Sports Med. 2022 Sep 27;1-4. doi: 10.1007/s40279-022-01763-3. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Horacio Caniza, Francisco Forriol, Osvaldo Pangrazio, Mario Gil-Conesa

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Summary: Major sporting events were suspended during the most acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Competitions are resuming with enhanced hygiene protocols and altered mechanics. While risks for players and staff have been studied, the impact of large-scale tournaments on the communities that host them remains largely unstudied. CONMEBOL Copa América is one of the first wide-scale international tournaments to be conducted in its original format since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament saw 10 national teams compete in four Brazilian cities during a period of heightened viral transmission. The analysis of over 28,000 compulsory PCR tests showed that positive cases did not lead to the uncontrolled spread of the disease among staff and players. More importantly, the data indicate that locally hired staff were not exposed to increased risk while working. The Copa América experience shows that international sporting competitions can be conducted safely even under unfavourable epidemiological situations.



#19 Repeated sprint ability in young football players according to the position and formation of the team: the effect of a specific training program

Reference: J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2022 Sep 28. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.22.14129-0. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Vassilis Samolis, Nikolaos Koutlianos, Yiannis Michailidis, Athanasios Mandroukas, Kosmas Christoulas, Thomas Metaxas

Summary: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a specific training program for 12-weeks (twice a week) on the repeated sprint ability (RSA), according to the position of the football player in the formation of the team. Two groups of U-17 football players (experimental-group, n=22 and control-group, n=19) and five positions (central-defenders, wide-defenders, central-midfielders, wingers and central-attackers) according to the position in the formation (1-4-3-3) were studied. Sexual maturation was classified according to Tanner's stages. RSA and isokinetic strength were measured pre- and after the training program. The results showed that in RSA were differences in the factor time in the best (F=9.316, η2=0.383, p=0.008) and mean time (F=8.002, η2=0.348, p=0.013), but there were no differences between the groups. In strength, differences were observed in the time, mostly in the extensors at the three angular velocities (60°, 180°, 300°·sec-1) with differences in the group only in the maximum force (F=8.090, η2=0.366, p=0.013). No differences between players' positions were observed. In conclusion, a specific training program seems to affect players' performance on repeated sprint ability and the specific training in the players' position according to the team formation has a positive effect on the muscle power of football players.


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