Quantification of Accelerometer Derived Impacts Associated With Competitive Games in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I College Football Players

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Abstract

Wellman, AD, Coad, SC, Goulet, GC, and McLellan, CP. Quantification of accelerometer derived impacts associated with competitive games in National Collegiate Athletic Association division I college football players. J Strength Cond Res 31(2): 330–338, 2017—The aims of the present study were to (a) examine positional impact profiles of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division I college football players using global positioning system (GPS) and integrated accelerometry (IA) technology and (b) determine if positional differences in impact profiles during competition exist within offensive and defensive teams. Thirty-three NCAA division I Football Bowl Subdivision players were monitored using GPS and IA (GPSports) during 12 regular season games throughout the 2014 season. Individual player data sets (n = 294) were divided into offensive and defensive teams, and positional subgroups. The intensity, number, and distribution of impact forces experienced by players during competition were recorded. Positional differences were found for the distribution of impacts within offensive and defensive teams. Wide receivers sustained more very light and light to moderate (5–6.5 G force) impacts than other position groups, whereas the running backs were involved in more severe (>10 G force) impacts than all offensive position groups, with the exception of the quarterbacks (p ≤ 0.05). The defensive back and linebacker groups were subject to more very light (5.0–6.0 G force) impacts, and the defensive tackle group sustained more heavy and very heavy (7.1–10 G force) impacts than other defensive positions (p ≤ 0.05). Data from the present study provide novel quantification of positional impact profiles related to the physical demands of college football games and highlight the need for position-specific monitoring and training in the preparation for the impact loads experienced during NCAA division I football competition.

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