External loads in under-12 players during soccer-7, soccer-8, and soccer-11 official matches

Mario Sanchez, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Daniel Hernandez, Manuel Carretero, Jesus Maria Luis-Pereira, Javier Sanchez-Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to compare the external loads (i.e., displacement distances and velocities) of 10–11 years-old soccer players during Soccer-7 (i.e., seven-a-side), Soccer-8 (i.e., eight-a-side), and Soccer-11 (i.e., eleven-a-side) official matches. Male athletes (n = 133; age, 10.9 ± 0.8 years) were measured during official matches for total distance (TD), relative distance (Drel), maximal velocity (Vmax), acceleration (ACC), deceleration (DEC), and absolute and relative distance covered at different velocities. Data during matches were collected using a Global Positioning System unit. Greater TD was recorded during Soccer-11 compared to Soccer-7 and Soccer-8 (p < 0.01), and greater Drel during Soccer-11 compared to Soccer-8 (p < 0.05). Absolute ACC was greater during Soccer-11 compared to Soccer-7 (p < 0.01), although relative values for %ACC and %DEC were greater during Soccer-7 and Soccer-8 compared to Soccer-11 (p < 0.01). Globally, results show that Soccer-11 matches induce greater external loads compared to Soccer-7 and Soccer-8 matches. Current results may help coaches and soccer-related organizers to plan more suited soccer competitions for young players, with lower external loads.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4581
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Fatigue
  • Injuries
  • Physical exercise
  • Youth sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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