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Assessing the whole-match and worst-case scenario locomotor demands of international women’s rugby union match-play / Emily Sheppy, Samuel P. Hills, Mark Russell, Ryan Chambers, Dan J. Cunningham, David Shearer, Shane Heffernan, Mark Waldron, Melitta McNarry, Liam Kilduff

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport

Swansea University Authors: Shane Heffernan, Mark Waldron, Melitta McNarry, Liam Kilduff

Abstract

ObjectivesTo profile the distances covered during international women’s rugby union match-play and assess the duration-specific worst-case scenario locomotor demands over 60-s to 600-s epochs, whilst comparing the values determined by fixed epoch (FIXED) versus rolling average (ROLL) methods of wors...

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Published in: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
ISSN: 1440-2440
Published: Elsevier BV 2019
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa53110
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Abstract: ObjectivesTo profile the distances covered during international women’s rugby union match-play and assess the duration-specific worst-case scenario locomotor demands over 60-s to 600-s epochs, whilst comparing the values determined by fixed epoch (FIXED) versus rolling average (ROLL) methods of worst-case scenario estimation and assessing positional influences.DesignDescriptive, observational.MethodsTwenty-nine international women’s rugby union players wore 10 Hz microelectromechanical systems during eight international matches (110 observations). Total, and per-half, distances were recorded, whilst relative total and high-speed (>4.4 m s−1) distances were averaged using FIXED and ROLL methods over 60–600-s. Linear mixed models compared distances covered between match halves, assessed FIXED versus ROLL, and examined the influence of playing position.ResultsPlayers covered ∼5.8 km match−1, with reduced distances in the second- versus first-half (p < 0.001). For worst-case scenario total (∼8–25%) and high-speed (∼10–26%) distance, FIXED underestimated ROLL. In ROLL, worst-case scenario relative total and high-speed distances reduced from ∼144−161 m min−1 and ∼30−69 m min−1 over 60-s, to ∼80 89 m min−1 and ∼5 16 m min−1 in the 600-s epoch, respectively. Forwards performed less high-speed running over all epochs and covered less total distance during epochs of 60-s, 180-s, 420-s and 480-s, compared with backs. Front row players typically returned the lowest locomotor demands.ConclusionsThis is the first study reporting the positional and worst-case scenario demands of international women’s rugby union, and indicates an underestimation in FIXED versus ROLL over 60-s to 600-s epochs. Knowledge of the most demanding periods of women’s rugby union match-play facilitates training specificity by enabling sessions to be tailored to such demands.
Keywords: Team sport, Physiology, Monitoring, Fatigue, Activity profiles, Running