Latest research in football - week 40 - 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 The mean and peak physical demands during transitional play and high pressure activities in elite football

Reference: Biol Sport. 2022 Oct;39(4):1055-1064. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2023.112968. Epub 2022 Feb 4.

Authors: Lukasz Bortnik, Joost Burger, David Rhodes

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Summary: The aim of the present study was to establish the effect of transitional activities (TA) on physical metrics. Global Positioning System technology was utilized on 23 elite outfield footballers over 10 games to quantify absolute metrics per minute such as total distance (TD; m · min-1), sprint distance (SD; m · min-1), the number of high-intensity accelerations and decelerations (A+D; n · min-1), and high-speed running distance (HSRD; m · min-1). TD - total distance; HSRD - high-speed running distance; SD - sprint distance and high-intensity acceleration distance (Acc B3 Dist) were also quantified. Metrics were observed in relation to 4 TA's commonly observed in football matches. Positive Transitions (PT), Negative Transitions (NT), Fast Attacks (FA) and High Pressure Activities (HP). Main effects for transition and game were observed. Comparisons were also made between 90 minute averages and transitional mean scores. NT displayed the highest TD (m · min-1) when compared to other TA's (p ≤ 0.05). Observation of SD (m · min-1) for all transitions highlighted higher outputs when in PT (p ≤ 0.05). HP TA displayed the lowest output in all metrics (p ≤ 0.05), except high-intensity accelerations and decelerations A+D (n · min-1). The mean average and peak average outputs for TA and 90min average detailed elevated physical outputs across all metrics. Absolute physical metrics are increased when observing transitional play, representing the maximum physical exposure that athletes experience in games. This knowledge should be utilized when implementing high-velocity exposures within a weekly microcycle, to best prepare players for match play.



#2 Internal and external load during 8 v 8, 5 v 5 and 3 v 3 in Chinese elite youth male football players

Reference: Biol Sport. 2022 Oct;39(4):1065-1071. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2022.113292. Epub 2022 Feb 4.

Authors: Zhen Li, Lijuan Mao, Peter Krustrup, Morten B Randers

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Summary: Aim to investigate internal and external load in three different game formats (8 v 8, 5 v 5, 3 v 3 with 80 m2 per player) of small-sided games (SSG) in Chinese elite youth football players. Twenty-nine elite male football players (age: 18.3 ± 0.5 years (mean ± SD), height: 175 ± 6 cm, weight: 65.5 ± 6.3 kg) participated in randomized order in the three formats. Each session consisted of 20 min: 3 v 3 on a 24 × 20-m pitch, 5 v 5 on a 32 × 25-m pitch, or 8 v 8 on a 40 × 32-m pitch all equalling 80 m2 per player. Each player was recorded once in each format. Using GPS-units and heart rate belts and blood lactate measured the two kinds of load. 8-10% higher total distance (P < 0.01) was observed in 8 v 8 and 5 v 5 compared with 3 v 3 (1627 ± 240 and 1595 ± 243 m vs. 1477 ± 179 m, ES = 0.55-0.71). Higher distance (P < 0.001) was covered with high speed running (HSR: > 14 km/h) in 8 v 8 and 5 v 5 than 3 v 3 (154 ± 94 m and 133 ± 59 m vs. 77 ± 35, ES = 1.09-1.15), whereas very high speed running distance (> 21 km/h) was higher (P < 0.01) in 8 v 8 than 5 v 5 and 3 v 3 (15.2 ± 19.5 vs. 5.3 ± 6.7 and 1.0 ± 0.4 m, ES = 0.69-1.03) and in 5 v 5 than 3 v 3. No difference was found between game formats in the number of intense accelerations nor intense decelerations. Blood lactate (3.5 ± 2.3 vs. 2.8 ± 1.9 vs. 2.4 ± 1.5 mmol · L-1, P = 0.201) and mean heart rate (155 ± 21 vs. 160 ± 11 vs. 157 ± 17 bpm, P = 0.254) was not different between 8v8, 5v5 and 3v3 game formats. Distance covered in total and in highest speed zones was higher in SSG formats with more players, which, however, did not lead to differences in internal load measured by heart rate and blood lactate.



#3 Analysis of potential hydration opportunities during future football tournaments based on data from the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Reference: Sci Med Footb. 2022 Oct 17. doi: 10.1080/24733938.2022.2137574. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Floris C Wardenaar, Joshua S Beaumont, Josh Boeckman, Bregje van Geffen, Jennifer K Vanos

Summary: The World Cup is traditionally held during the hot summer months which requires playing in oppressive thermal conditions. Therefore, teams should follow heat strain mitigation strategies, such as acclimatization, pre-exercise cooling, and optimal fluid ingestion. Even though the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is being moved to the autumn to reduce environmental stress, many challenges will remain. The objective of this analysis was to assess and visually communicate match-based World Cup player hydration opportunities and behaviors. Broadcast recordings of the 2018 World Cup (June-July) were analyzed. Descriptive data were reported for match duration, the number, type, and duration of breaks, and player-initiated hydration moments, as well as data reporting environmental conditions using the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI), with matches categorized as "no thermal stress" and "thermal heat stress." The median number and interquartile range of total match breaks were 7 [5-8] during official breaks, with a duration of 42 [23-72] seconds. There were 2 [1-3] player-initiated hydration moments per game, with a duration of 77 [55 to 100] seconds. On top of the 29% (#126) of breaks in which drinking occurred, an additional 26% (#33) of self-initiated drinking was registered with a duration of 7 [4-28] seconds without an official break. There was no significant difference (P=0.22) in self-initiated hydration between matches played under the two thermal conditions. Relative percentages showed suboptimal use of substitution (14%) and VAR (38%) breaks vs. injury breaks (75%). In conclusion, football players did not sufficiently use available breaks to hydrate.



#4 Assessment of the bioaccessibility of PAHs and other hazardous compounds present in recycled tire rubber employed in synthetic football fields

Reference: Sci Total Environ. 2022 Oct 15;159485. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.159485. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Daniel Armada, Antia Martinez-Fernandez, Maria Celeiro, Thierry Dagnac, Maria Llompart

Summary: Recycled tire crumb rubber (RTCR) surfaces contain harmful and carcinogenic substances, which can be ingested by the users of these facilities, mainly athletes and children. In this work, the potential in-vitro oral bioaccessibility of eighteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from RTCR employed as infill in synthetic football fields was studied in human synthetic body fluids (saliva, gastric, duodenal and bile), prepared according the Unified Bioaccessibility Method. Solid-phase extraction (SPE) using commercial sorbents and a new green material based on cork (cork industry by-product) were used to isolate the bioaccessible PAHs before gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis. The method was optimized and validated attending the analytical figures of merit. The feasibility of cork biosorbent for the extraction of the compounds was demonstrated, as well as the suitability of the UBM method to perform the digestion with good precision. The application to real samples collected from football fields demonstrated the presence of 17 of the 18 target PAHs in the biofluids. Most volatile PAHs such as NAP, ACY, ACE, FLU, PHN and ANC, achieved the highest bioaccessibility percentage levels. The carcinogenic B[a]P was detected in 75 % of the samples at concentrations up to 2.5 ng g-1 (bioaccessible fraction). Children exposure assessment was carried out to identify potential risk. Other hazardous and environmentally problematic compounds such as N-(1,3-Dimethylbutyl)-N'-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine-quinone (6PPD-quinone), recently related with the dead of coho salmon, and hexamethoxymethylmelamine (HMMM), among others, were also detected. This is the first study in which the bioaccesibility from real crumb rubber samples of 15 out of the 16 PAHs considered as priority pollutants by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the presence of 6PPD-quinone and HMMM in the bioaccessible fractions was reported.



#5 Effects of the FIFA 11+ and a modified warm-up programme on injury prevention and performance improvement among youth male football players

Reference: PLoS One. 2022 Oct 20;17(10):e0275545. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0275545. eCollection 2022.

Authors: Mojtaba Asgari, Mohammad Hossein Alizadeh, Shahnaz Shahrbanian, Kevin Nolte, Thomas Jaitner

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Summary: The effects of the FIFA11+ programme (the 11+) on ankle and groin injuries and performance have remained questionable. The latter, particularly, has potentially reduced the implementation rate and applicability of the programme. This study aimed to evaluate the mid-to-long-term effects of the 11+ and a modified programme including football-specific exercises on injury prevention and performance improvement. Three teams of the Iranian Youth League (division two) volunteered to participate in this study and were randomly assigned to two intervention groups (F11+; n = 29, M11+; n = 31) and a control group (n = 30). The F11+ followed the FIFA 11+ programme, whereas the M11+ performed modified exercises three times weekly as a warm-up protocol before training and competition through a football season. The control group carried out its routine warm-ups, including joggings, basic football drills, and static stretches, while having no injury prevention approaches. Lower extremity injuries, as well as exposure time for each player, were recorded. The football-specific performance was assessed using the Illinois Agility and Slalom Dribbling tests. ANOVA, Fisher Freeman Halton, and chi-square tests were used to analyze the data. Injury incidences differed significantly between groups (p = 0.02, C = 0.40), with M11+ reporting the lowest incidence. Significant differences between the pre- and posttest as well as differences between the groups for development over time were revealed for the Illinois agility and dribbling speed (p≤0.01). Both performance tests demonstrated a large time effect, as the effect sizes for time in agility and dribbling speed were 0.74 (CI = [0.66; 0.79]) and 0.86 (CI = [0.79; 0.87]), respectively. The effect size for the interaction can be categorized as medium, with 0.38 (CI = [0.25; 0.49]) for agility and 0.52 (CI = [0.40; 0.61]) for dribbling speed. M11+ showed the largest improvement in both. Mid-to-long-term application of a structured dynamic warm-up that integrates injury prevention and performance approaches may lower injury incidences and improve youth subelite players' performance. Although additional studies with larger samples are needed to prove the results of the current study, the amateur clubs/teams could integrate such twofold dynamic warm up into their routine training plan and benefit its advantages on injury prevention and performance improvement.



#6 Normative values and changes in range of motion, strength, and functional performance over 1 year in adolescent female football players: Data from 418 players in the Karolinska football Injury Cohort study

Reference: Phys Ther Sport. 2022 Oct 9;58:106-116. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2022.10.003. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Anne Fältström, Eva Skillgate, Ulrika Tranaeus, Nathan Weiss, Henrik Källberg, Victor Lyberg, Mathias Nomme, Nicolai Thome, Truls Omsland, Eirik Pedersen, Martin Hägglund, Markus Waldén, Martin Asker

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Summary: The aim was to study normative values of range of motion (ROM), strength, and functional performance and investigate changes over 1 year in adolescent female football players. 418 adolescent female football players aged 12-17 years participated in this study. The physical characteristic assessments included (1) ROM assessment of the trunk, hips, and ankles; (2) strength measures (maximal isometric and eccentric strength for the trunk, hips, and knees, and strength endurance for the neck, back, trunk and calves), and (3) functional performance (the one-leg long box jump test and the square hop test). Older players were stronger, but not when normalized to body weight. Only small differences in ROM regarding age were found. ROM increased over 1 year in most measurements with the largest change in hip external rotation, which increased by 6-7° (Cohen's d = 0.83-0.87). Hip (d = 0.28-1.07) and knee (d = 0.38-0.53) muscle strength and the square hop test (d = 0.71-0.99) improved over 1 year. Normative values for ROM and strength assessments of neck, back, trunk, hips, knees, calves and ankles are presented for adolescent female football players. Generally, fluctuations in ROM were small with little clinical meaning, whereas strength improved over 1 year.



#7 Spontaneous Pneumomediastinum Resulting From Passionate Cheering at a Soccer Match

Reference: Mil Med. 2022 Oct 15;usac315. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usac315. Online ahead of print.

Authors: Tomer Talmy, Ziv Izhaki, Sami Gendler, Eliad Aviram

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Summary: Spontaneous pneumomediastinum is a rare and self-limiting clinical entity, often triggered by activities causing acute changes in intrathoracic pressure such as childbirth, strenuous exercise, vomiting, and coughing. We present a case of a young male soldier who developed spontaneous pneumothorax following persistent yelling while attending a soccer match. Spontaneous pneumomediastinum may be preceded by a variety of strenuous activities, and clinicians should be aware of this entity when performing the evaluation of patients with nonspecific symptoms such as chest pain and dyspnea. Patients diagnosed with pneumomediastinum but presenting with additional findings such as vomiting and pleural effusion should be thoroughly evaluated to rule out potentially life-threatening mediastinal organ injury. Return to military duty should be determined by clinical reevaluation and follow-up imaging findings.



#8 Effect of physical training on parathyroid hormone and bone turnover marker profile in relation to vitamin D supplementation in soccer players

Reference: Biol Sport. 2022 Oct;39(4):921-932. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2022.109956. Epub 2021 Nov 10.

Authors: Michał Brzeziański, Monika Migdalska-Sęk, Michał Stuss, Zbigniew Jastrzębski, Łukasz Radzimiński, Ewa Brzeziańska-Lasota, Ewa Sewerynek

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Summary: The aim of the study was to assess the impact of vitamin D supplementation and regular physical activity on 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], parathyroid hormone (PTH) and bone turnover marker concentrations in healthy male athletes. Twenty-five youth soccer players were divided into groups: non-supplemented (GN) and supplemented (GS) with a vitamin D dose of 20 000 IU twice a week for 8 weeks. The study was conducted during an 8-week preseason period, from mid-January to mid-March. At baseline (T1) and at the end of this period (T2), the serum concentrations of 25(OH)D, (PTH), osteocalcin (OC) and β-isomerized C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (β-CTx) were measured. At T2, 25(OH)D increased by 70% in GS (p = 0.004) and by 6% in GN (p > 0.05). Significant differences between GS and GN groups were observed throughout the study in the group-by-time interaction and changes of 25(OH)D (p = 0.002; η 2 p = 0.36) and OC (p = 0.008; η 2 p = 0.26). Increased OC (ES = 0.74; moderate) and β-CTx (ES = 1.31, large) in GN athletes who had an optimal baseline vitamin D level (GO) were observed. In GN, at T2, β-CTx positively correlated with PTH and OC (p = 0.007 and p = 0.002). In GS, β-CTx positively correlated with OC at both time points (T1, p = 0.027 and T2, p = 0.037). A negative correlation between 25(OH)D and PTH was observed at T2 (p = 0.018). The obtained results suggest that the 20 000 IU vitamin D3 dose applied twice a week for 8 weeks is effective for vitamin D compensation and sufficient to maintain the correct PTH concentration, as revealed by changes in the bone marker concentrations. In conclusion, the results suggest that the applied vitamin D supplementation dose in athletes leads to intensive bone remodelling and has protective effects on bone under intensive physical effort.



#9 Changes of physical match performance after the COVID-19 lockdown in professional soccer players according to their playing position

Reference: Biol Sport. 2022 Oct;39(4):1087-1093. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2022.114281. Epub 2022 Apr 21.

Authors: Łukasz Radzimiński, Miguel Lorenzo-Martinez, Marek Konefał, Paweł Chmura, Marcin Andrzejewski, Zbigniew Jastrzębski, Alexis Padrón-Cabo

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Summary: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the pandemic lockdown, which included training cessation and home-based training, on physical performance in professional soccer players from the Polish Ekstraklasa according to their playing position. The research was based on 3137 players' individual match performance observations during the 2019/2020 season divided into before (26 matchdays) and after (11 matchdays) lockdown periods. The data were collected using the computerised multiple-camera optical tracking system TRACAB (ChryronHego VID, New York, NY) with a sampling frequency of 25 Hz. Independently of playing position, a significant (p < 0.001) reduction in season resumption metrics of total distance (-0.9%), jogging (-1.6%), running (-3.4%) and high-speed running (-2.5%), with a contemporaneous increase in walking distance (1.4%), was noted in relation to pre-lockdown performance. A reduction in high-speed running was observed in central defenders (p < 0.05), central midfielders (p < 0.01) and forwards (p < 0.05). No significant decrease in sprinting or maximal running velocity was observed. The COVID-19 lockdown negatively influenced the physical performance in professional soccer players.



#10 The influence of maturity on recovery and perceived exertion, and its relationship with illnesses and non-contact injuries in young soccer players

Reference: Biol Sport. 2022 Oct;39(4):839-848. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2022.109953. Epub 2021 Oct 25.

Authors: Mauro Mandorino, Antonio J Figueiredo, Giancarlo Condello, Antonio Tessitore

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Summary: A high training load could increase the risk of injury in soccer players. However, there is still a lack of knowledge regarding the effect on young athletes, in whom a different maturity status could lead to different physiological responses to training. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the association of internal load markers and recovery status with risk of illnesses and non-contact injuries in young soccer players characterised by different maturity status. Twenty-three U14 soccer players were monitored during a full season and categorised according to years from peak height velocity (PHV). Based on the estimated values, athletes were divided into three different groups: Pre-PHV, Circa-PHV and Post-PHV players. The following internal load markers were monitored: rating of perceived exertion (RPE), session rating of perceived exertion (S-RPE), weekly load (WL), cumulative loads for 2, 3, and 4 weeks (WL2, WL3, WL4), acute to chronic workload ratio for 2, 3 and 4 weeks (A:C2, A:C3, A:C4) and week-to-week percentage variation (%WL). Recovery status was quantified using the total quality recovery (TQR) scale. Z-score transformation was adopted for TQR and RPE values and the difference between the parameters was calculated (Z-TQR-RPE). The Kruskal-Wallis test was adopted to evaluate differences in TQR and RPE with respect to maturity offset. A multinomial regression analysis was performed to evaluate the association between internal load markers and risk of illness and non-contact injuries. The variables that showed a significant association were included in the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. The results revealed that RPE was significantly higher (p < 0.01) and TQR significantly lower (p < 0.05) in Post-PHV compared to Pre- and Circa-PHV. Moreover, RPE, A:C4, TQR and Z-TQR-RPE showed a significant (p < 0.01) association with non-contact injuries. The internal load markers included in ROC curve analysis showed poor predictive ability (AUC ≤ 0.6). A rapid increase in training load together with a decrease in recovery status may produce higher susceptibility to illnesses and non-contact injuries. The contrasting physiological responses found in relation to maturity status could explain the different injury predisposition in young soccer players.



#11 Do conditioning focused various-sided training games prepare elite youth male soccer players for the demands of competition?

Reference: Biol Sport. 2022 Oct;39(4):825-832. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2022.109454. Epub 2021 Oct 25.

Authors: Michael G Sydney, Martin Wollin, Dale W Chapman, Nick Ball, Jocelyn K Mara

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Summary: Relative metrics (i.e. distance covered per minute of match time) are regularly used to quantify soccer player movement demands. However, limited literature is available concerning the peak player demands during training. This study aimed to compare the relative and peak demands of conditioning-focused various-sided training games (VSG) to competition matches in elite youth male soccer players according to playing position. Data from twenty-nine competition matches (national) and twenty-two VSGs (small, medium, and large) were collected for twenty-three elite under-17 soccer players using 15-Hz portable global positioning system tracking devices (GPSports, Canberra, Australia). Relative player movements were reported as total distance (TD) and high-speed running distance (HSRD) (> 5.0 m/s) per minute of total playing time. Peak player movements were calculated using a 1-minute rolling epoch length, reported as the maximum TD and HSRD. Linear mixed models demonstrated interactions between VSG type and player position for relative TD (p < 0.001) and HSRD (p < 0.001), and peak TD (p = 0.010) and HSRD (p = 0.003). The relative TD of VSGs were greater than match-play for all player positions. However, only Central Defenders demonstrated similar HSRD in MSGs and LSGs compared to match-play when analysed using relative calculations. External Attackers also replicated match-play relative HSRD demands in LSGs. No VSG type was found to replicate or supersede the peak player movements of match-play across any playing position. Consequently, VSGs should be supplemented with high-speed running training to prepare players for the peak running requirements of match-play.



#12 Comparison of training and match load between metabolic and running speed metrics of professional Spanish soccer players by playing position

Reference: Biol Sport. 2022 Oct;39(4):933-941. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2022.110884. Epub 2021 Nov 20.

Authors: Berni Guerrero-Calderón, José Alfonso Morcillo, Marcos Chena, Alfonso Castillo-Rodríguez

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Summary: The aims of this study were to compare the training and match load of professional soccer players according to the playing position, and analyse the relationship between the metabolic and running speed metrics. Thirty professional male soccer players belonging to a Spanish First Division team were analysed using global positioning system devices (GPEXE Pro 18.18 Hz) during training and competition (n = 36 training weeks and n = 41 matches). The results showed significant differences between positions on match day; central midfielders covered higher total distance and low- and medium-speed running distance (moderate to large effect size) than central defenders, external defenders and forwards; forwards performed more metabolic power events than central defenders, central midfielders and wide midfielders; and central defenders showed the lowest very-high-speed running. Different patterns were observed in training. Furthermore, the equivalent-distance index showed a strong correlation with accelerations and decelerations events. The main findings were that the physical responses found in training did not correspond with match demands by position; both metabolic and traditional approaches should be used together for load monitoring in professional soccer players; and finally, metabolic power events and the equivalent-distance index seem to be variables that help to differentiate more clearly the characteristics of the player, taking into account their playing position.



#13 A targeted metabolic analysis of football players and its association to player load: Comparison between women and men profiles

Reference: Front Physiol. 2022 Sep 30;13:923608. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2022.923608. eCollection 2022.

Authors: Gil Rodas, Eva Ferrer, Xavier Reche, Juan Daniel Sanjuan-Herráez, Alan McCall, Guillermo Quintás

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Summary: Professional athletes undertake a variety of training programs to enhance their physical performance, technical-tactical skills, while protecting their health and well-being. Regular exercise induces widespread changes in the whole body in an extremely complex network of signaling, and evidence indicates that phenotypical sex differences influence the physiological adaptations to player load of professional athletes. Despite that there remains an underrepresentation of women in clinical studies in sports, including football. The objectives of this study were twofold: to study the association between the external load (EPTS) and urinary metabolites as a surrogate of the adaptation to training, and to assess the effect of sex on the physiological adaptations to player load in professional football players. Targeted metabolic analysis of aminoacids, and tryptophan and phenylalanine metabolites detected progressive changes in the urinary metabolome associated with the external training load in men and women's football teams. Overrepresentation analysis and multivariate analysis of metabolic data showed significant differences of the effect of training on the metabolic profiles in the men and women teams analyzed. Collectively, our results demonstrate that the development of metabolic models of adaptation in professional football players can benefit from the separate analysis of women and men teams, providing more accurate insights into how adaptation to the external load is related to changes in the metabolic phenotypes. Furthermore, results support the use of metabolomics to understand changes in specific metabolic pathways provoked by the training process.



#14 The impact of UEFA Euro 2020 football championship on Takotsubo Syndrome: Results of a multicenter national registry

Reference: Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 Sep 28;9:951882. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2022.951882. eCollection 2022.

Authors: Alberto Polimeni, Carmen Spaccarotella, Jessica Ielapi, Giovanni Esposito, Amelia Ravera, Eugenio Martuscelli, Vincenzo Ciconte, Maurizio Menichelli, Ferdinando Varbella, Massimo Imazio, Alessandro Navazio, Gianfranco Sinagra, Rainer Oberhollenzer, Gerolamo Sibilio, Luisa Cacciavillani, Luigi Meloni, Marcello Dominici, Fabrizio Tomai, Francesco Amico, Marco Corda, Giuseppe Musumeci, Alessandro Lupi, Luigi Zezza, Raffaele De Caterina, Carlo Cernetti, Marco Metra, Lidia Rossi, Paolo Calabrò, Adriano Murrone, Massimo Volpe, Pasquale Caldarola, Stefano Carugo, Bernardo Cortese, Renato Valenti, Giuseppe Boriani, Francesco Fedele, Giorgio Ventura, Maria Teresa Manes, Angela Rita Colavita, Mauro Feola, Francesco Versaci, Pasquale Assennato, Giuseppe Arena, Roberto Ceravolo, Vincenzo Amodeo, Gianfranco Tortorici, Daniele Nassiacos, Roberto Antonicelli, Nicolino Esposito, Stefano Favale, Giovanni Licciardello, Luigi Tedesco, Ciro Indolfi

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Summary: The UEFA 2020 European Football Championship held in multiple cities across Europe from June 11 to July 11, 2021, was won by Italy, providing an opportunity to examine the relationship between emotional stress and the incidence of acute cardiovascular events (ACE). Cardiovascular hospitalizations in the Cardiac Care Units of 49 hospital networks in Italy were assessed by emergency physicians during the UEFA Euro 2020 Football Championship. We compared the events that occurred during matches involving Italy with events that occurred during the remaining days of the championship as the control period. ACE was assessed in 1,235 patients. ACE during the UEFA Euro 2020 Football Championship semifinal and final, the most stressful matches ended with penalties and victory of the Italian team, were assessed. A significant increase in the incidence of Takotsubo Syndrome (TTS) by a factor of 11.41 (1.6-495.1, P < 0.003), as compared with the control period, was demonstrated during the semifinal and final, whereas no differences were found in the incidence of ACS [IRR 0.93(0.74-1.18), P = 0.57]. No differences in the incidence of ACS [IRR 0.98 (0.87-1.11; P = 0.80)] or TTS [IRR 1.66(0.80-3.4), P = 0.14] were found in the entire period including all matches of the UEFA Euro 2020 compared to the control period. The data of this national registry demonstrated an association between the semifinal and final of UEFA Euro 2020 and TTS suggesting that it can be triggered by also positive emotions such as the victory in the European Football Championship finals.



#15 Effectiveness of the Functional Movement Screen for assessment of injury risk occurrence in football players

Reference: Biol Sport. 2022 Oct;39(4):889-894. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2022.107482. Epub 2021 Nov 10.

Authors: Marek Łyp, Marcin Rosiński, Jarosław P Chmielewski, Małgorzata A Czarny-Działak, Magdalena Osuch, Daria Urbańska, Tomasz Wójcik, Magdalena Florek-Łuszczki, Iwona A Stanisławska

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Summary: The aim of the study was to determine whether the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) test carried out among young boys practising football training identifies previous injuries. Sixty-five boys aged 12-13 years, who had regularly practised football in an academy for at least 3 years, were recruited and divided into two groups: an injured group (IG), consisting of players who had experienced at least one injury in the past (n + 25, age 12.32 ± 0.48) and a non-injured group (non-IG), a control group, made up of athletes with no injuries to the musculoskeletal system (n = 40, age 12.25 ± 0.49). Seven FMS tests were used to rate the functional fitness level as a part of the FMS tool. Significant differences between the total scores of the FMS tests (p < 0.001, r = 0.54) were documented. Higher scores in the FMS test were observed in the control group (M = 16.58, SD = 2.04) than in the study group (M = 14.20, ± SD = 1.96). The FMS test is an effective diagnostic tool to identify previous injuries among young football players.



#16 Temporal distribution of peak running demands relative to match minutes in elite football

Reference: Biol Sport. 2022 Oct;39(4):985-994. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2022.110745. Epub 2021 Dec 30.

Authors: Bradley Thoseby, Andrew D Govus, Anthea C Clarke, Kane J Middleton, Ben J Dascombe

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Summary: The peak match running demands of football (soccer) have been quantified across time durations of 1-10 min, however, little is known as to when the peak match running demands occur within match play. Data were collected from 44 elite footballers, across 68 fixtures (Files = 413, mean ± SD; 11 ± 8 observations per player, range; 1-33), with peak match running demands quantified for each playing half at ten incremental rolling average durations (1 min rolling averages, 2 min rolling averages, etc.). Data were assessed if players completed the full match. Three measures of running performance were assessed total distance (TD), high-speed distance (> 19.8 km · h-1) (HSD) and average acceleration (AveAcc)], with the in-game commencement time of the peak running demands recorded. Descriptive statistics and normality were calculated for each rolling average duration, with the self-containment of shorter rolling average epochs within longer epochs also assessed (e.g. Do the 1 min peak running demands occur within the 10 min peak running demands). Peak TD and AveAcc demands occurred early in each half (median time = 7-17 min and 6-16 min, respectively). Conversely, peak HSD covered was uniformly distributed (Skewness = 0-0.5, Kurtosis = 1.7-2.0). There were low-moderate levels of self-containment for each peak match running period (10-51%), dependent upon metric. Peak match running demands for TD and AveAcc occurred at similar stages of a match where TD and acceleration volumes are typically greatest, whereas peak HSD demands appeared more unpredictable. These timings may help inform training prescriptions in preparation of athletes for competition.



#17 Between-match variation of peak match running intensities in elite football

Reference: Biol Sport. 2022 Oct;39(4):833-838. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2022.109456. Epub 2021 Oct 25.

Authors: Bradley Thoseby, Andrew D Govus, Anthea C Clarke, Kane J Middleton, Ben J Dascombe

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Summary: Peak match running intensities have recently been introduced to quantify the peak running demands of football competition, across incremental time intervals, to inform training practices. However, their between-match variation is yet to be comprehensively reported, limiting the ability to determine meaningful changes in peak match running intensities. The current study aimed to quantify the between-match variability in peak match running intensities across discrete moving average durations (1-10 min). GPS data were collected from 44 elite football players across 68 matches (mean ± SD; 13 ± 10 observations per player). For inclusion players must have completed 70mins of a match across a minimum of two matches. Performance metrics included total and high-speed (> 19.8 km · h-1) running distances and average acceleration (m · s-2), expressed relative to time. For each metric, the coefficient of variation and smallest worthwhile difference were calculated. The peak match running intensity data was similar to previously reported data from various football competitions. The between-match CV of relative total distance ranged between 6.8-7.3%, with the CV for average acceleration and relative high-speed running being 5.4-5.8% and 20.6-29.8%, respectively. The greater variability observed for relative high-speed running is likely reflective of the varying constraints and contextual factors that differ between matches. The reported between-match variability helps to provide context when interpreting match performance and prescribing training drills using peak match running intensity data.


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