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Time-motion analysis of elite women's field hockey, with particular reference to maximum intensity movement patterns

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The aim of this study was to establish the activity profile of elite level female field hockey players during competition. In addition, the nature of sprint activity concerning pre- and post-sprint activity was investigated. Twelve elite female outfield players (age 22 ± 3 years) from the women's English National League were videoed for the entire duration of a game. Definitions of each movement classification (stand, walk, jog, cruise, sprint) were established for analysis. A lunge defined as a sudden elongated step, but with a bent front knee, was included in analysis due to its frequent use in field hockey. The majority of the game was spent in low intensity activity (90%). A mean significant decrease (P<0.05) in the amount of high intensity activity performed in the second half, coupled with a significant decrease in average heart rate in the second half (174 ± 12 beats·min−1 vs. 169 ± 11 beats·min−1; p<0.01), suggests a manifestation of fatigue resulting in a decrease in physical performance. To conclude, field hockey is predominantly low intensity in nature, interspersed with short periods of high intensity effort. Despite the continuous substitutions rule, there is a decline in work rate in the second half.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2007

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