Fatigue In U12 Soccer-7 Players During Repeated One-Day Tournament Games - A Pilot Study

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to describe and compare the distances and displacement speeds of U12 Soccer-7 athletes during four tournament Soccer-7 games (TG) played in less than 24-h (experimental condition) with those recorded during two league Soccer-7 games (LG) with 24-h of rest prior to the match (control condition). Ten participants (age = 10.3 ± 0.5 years) were recruited for the study. Main data analyzed during games included distance completed relative to match duration (Drel), maximal velocity and distance completed at different running speeds (including acceleration, deceleration, standing, walking, jogging, medium-intensity running, high-intensity running and sprinting). For data collection during games, athletes wore a GPS unit. Different (p<0.05) mean playing time was recorded during TG and LG (15.1 and 31.8 minutes/match, respectively). Drel during the four TG was maintained between 85.7 ± 8.5 m/min and 87.5 ± 8.5 m/min (P>0.05) and during the two LG between 84.2 ± 10.9 m/min and 87.5 ± 9.9 m/min (P>0.05). Moreover, similar Drel was recorded during TG and LG (86.8 m/min and 85.9 m/min, respectively). Compared to LG, during TG maximal velocity was lower (23.0 km/h and 21.3 km/h, respectively; P<0.05). In addition, compared to the last game of the tournament, in the preceding games the distance covered at low speeds (3.1-8.0 km/h) was lower (37.7% and 32.4%, respectively; P<0.05) and at high speeds (≥18.1 km/h) tend to be higher (2.5% and 3.3%, respectively). Therefore, compared with the control condition, accumulated Soccer-7 games with less than 24-h of inter-day rest negatively affects displacement speeds distribution (but not overall relative distances) in U12 Soccer-7 athletes. These results may help to better plan training and competition schedules to youth players.

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