Effect of Match Factors on the Running Performance of Elite Female Soccer Players

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Abstract

Trewin, J, Meylan, C, Varley, MC, Cronin, J, and Ling, D. Effect of match factors on the running performance of elite female soccer players. J Strength Cond Res 32(7): 2002–2009, 2018—The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of match factors on the match running of elite female soccer players. Players from the same women's national team (n = 45) were monitored during 47 international fixtures (files = 606) across 4 years (2012–2015) using 10-Hz global positioning system devices. A mixed model was used to analyze the effects of altitude, temperature, match outcome, opposition ranking, and congested schedules. At altitude (>500 m), a small increase in the number of accelerations (effect size [ES] = 0.40) and a small decrease in total distance (ES = −0.54) were observed, whereas at higher temperatures, there were decreases in all metrics (ES = −0.83 to −0.16). Playing a lower ranked team in a draw resulted in a moderate increase in high-speed running (ES = 0.89), with small to moderate decreases in total distance and low-speed running noted in a loss or a win. Winning against higher ranked opponents indicated moderately higher total distance and low-speed running (ES = 0.75), compared with a draw. Although the number of accelerations were higher in a draw against lower ranked opponents, compared with a win and a loss (ES = 0.95 and 0.89, respectively). Practitioners should consider the effect of match factors on match running in elite female soccer.

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