Assessment of Peak Physical Demands in Elite Women Soccer Players: Can Contextual Variables Play a Role?

Jaime González-García, Verónica Giráldez-Costas, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Barry Drust, Blanca Romero-Moraleda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: To describe and compare the peak physical demands through the worst-case scenario method (WCS), according to different rolling average (RA) time epochs (i.e. 1 min, 3 min, and 5 min) and contextual variables in women soccer players. Methods: Using an observational-comparative study design, an elite women soccer team from the Spanish 1st league division was monitored during 27 matches. Nine WCS-dependent variables were assessed, including total distance (TD), high-speed running distance (HSR), sprint distance (SP), acceleration, and deceleration distance at different intensities by players position (i.e., central defenders [CD], wide defenders [WD], central midfielders [CM], wide midfielders [WM], forwards [F]), match half, location, and match outcome. Results: The 1-min RA showed the lowest variability (CV = 9.8–65.8%) for all nine dependent variables. The WD presented the highest TD (168 ± 15.71 m/min). Differences between positions were observed for: CM<F (−10.19 m/min), CM<WM (−11.20 m/min), and CM<WD (−12.70 m/min). For SP: CM<F (−10.03 m/min), CM<WM (−11.91 m/min), CM<WD (−10.03 m/min), and CM<CD (−5.31 m/min). The WCS-dependent variables were also affected by match half and match outcome. Conclusions: 1-min RA time epochs allow greater accuracy and reliability to identify nine key WCS outcomes in elite women soccer players. Different contextual variables, particularly player’s position, influenced the peak periods.

Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Female soccer
  • match analysis
  • worst-case scenario

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Nephrology

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