Pitch size and Game Surface in Different Small-Sided Games. Global Indicators, Activity Profile and Acceleration of Female Soccer Players

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Abstract

The aim of this research was to evaluate the influence of game surface and pitch size on the movement profile in female soccer players during Small-Sided-Games (SSGs) of 4 v 4. 16 women played three different 4-a-side (400 m2, 600 m2 and 800 m2) on three surfaces (ground [GR], artificial turf [AT] and natural grass [NG]). Time-motion variables were assessed through GPS devices (Spi Pro X, GPSports, Australia). GR had the worst outputs on most variables. NG achieved higher results than AT in terms of total distance [SSG 400 (+37.000 m; p=0.006); SSG 600 (+59.989 m; p<0.001); SSG 800 (+42.284 m; p=0.001)]. On the other hand, the smaller SSG (400) had the lowest values on most variables. However, while the middle SSG (600) presented higher output than the bigger one (800) for Body Load [NG (+7.745 a.u.; p<0.001); AT (+8.207 a.u.; p<0.001); GR (+5.879 a.u.; p<0.001)], it had lower results for High Intensity Distance [NG (-13.15 m; p=0.025); AT (-13.59 m; p=0.026)]. Despite women’s performance being higher on AT than GR, the NG surface still showed the highest outcomes in the most intense SSG. Moreover, although the performance increase in bigger pitches, if the size is too large the outputs could be reduced.

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