Game Responses During Young Padel Match Play: Age and Sex Comparisons

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García-Benítez, S, Courel-Ibáñez, J, Pérez-Bilbao, T, and Felipe, JL. Game responses during young padel match play: age and sex comparisons. J Strength Cond Res 32(4): 1144–1149, 2018—The purpose of this study was to assess match activity profile and temporal structure in U-16 and U-18 male and female padel players from the 2014 Spanish Youth National Championship. A total of 1,670 rallies from 12 matches were recorded through systematic observation. Variables pertaining to game and point duration, rest interval time, number of strokes per rally (SR), and match total duration were registered. Current findings show that significant influences of age and sex on game demands in youth padel players strengthen the importance of knowing specific game characteristics during formative stages for training accordingly. In particular, padel match activity in youth players was characterized by longer rallies, longer resting interval time, and more number of SR compared with other racket sports, resulting in lower effort index. More specifically, results revealed an increment on match requirements in U-18 players compared with U-16. Besides, we found a greater use of lobs in females, particularly in U-16 players. This information may constitute a useful guide for the design of appropriate game strategies and specific-training sessions according to competitive demands in youth padel players.

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