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The effect of substitution frequency on the physical and technical outputs of strikers during field hockey match play

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We aimed to determine the effects of substitution frequency on physical and technical outputs of strikers during competitive field-hockey. Five matches were played involving the same two teams, during which three different substitution frequency conditions were assessed: three strikers with no substitutions (Sub3), four strikers with a moderate amount of substitutions (Sub4); and five strikers with a high amount of substitutions (Sub5). Physical outputs were measured using GPS and HR monitors and technical outputs (positioning and possession ratings) were determined using video-analysis. There were no significant differences between conditions for total distance covered per position70 (Sub5=8414±125, Sub4=8422±34, Sub3=8282±0m) and high-intensity (>19km. h-1) running (Sub5=701±46, Sub4=685±28, Sub3=723±0m). There was a tendency for greater substitutions to result in less decrement in total distance and high-intensity running when 1st and 2nd halves were compared. Greater substitutions increased total technical outputs compared to less substitutions (Sub5=241±35, Sub4=207±38, Sub3=173±0). In conclusion, while a greater substitution frequency does not increase the physical outputs of strikers, a higher substitution frequency appears to offsets decrements in physical outputs due to fatigue, as well as increase the technical contributions of strikers during competitive play.
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Keywords: FATIGUE; MOVEMENT; ROTATION; TEAM SPORT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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