Evaluation Of The Official Match External Load In Soccer Players With Cerebral Palsy

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Abstract

The aims of this study were to analyze the official match external loads (i.e. total distance [TD], distance covered at different speeds, accelerations, decelerations, player load [PL], peak metabolic power [PMP] and changes of direction [CODs]) of football players with cerebral palsy (CP), and to determine the external loads according to playing time (i.e. < 20 min, 20-40 min and > 40 min). The external load of thirty-one international football players with CP (23.0 ± 6.6 years; 69.1 ± 9.0 kg; 174.8 ± 7.3 cm) was analyzed during a World Championship Qualification Tournament (n = 8 matches, 58 individual observations). Results showed that the football players with CP, covered less distance at high intensity running and sprinting, performing a smaller number of moderate and high intensity accelerations and decelerations, had a lower PL and made fewer CODs in official matches compared to conventional football players as reported in other studies. The number of minutes played by the players (i.e. < 20 min, 20-40 min and > 40 min) could significantly influence the players’ match external load (ES = 0.3-5.5, small to extremely large). The impairments presented by football players with CP affect players’ match external loads, especially in short-term high-intensity neuromuscular actions.

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