The Effect of Interchange Rotation Period and Number on Australian Football Running Performance
Montgomery, PG, and Wisbey, B. The effect of interchange rotation period and number on Australian Football running performance. J Strength Cond Res 30(7): 1890–1897, 2016—To determine the effect of on-field rotation periods and total number of game rotations on Australian Football running performance, elite Australian Football players (n = 21, mean ± SD; 23.2 ± 1.7 years; 183.5 ± 3.7 cm; 83.2 ± 4.5 kg) had Global Positioning System game data from 22 rounds divided into a total of 692 on-field playing periods. These periods were allocated into time blocks of 2:00-minute increments, with the log transformed percentage differences in running performance (m·min−1) between blocks analyzed by effect size and meaningful differences. A total of 7,730 game rotation and associated average m·min−1 combinations collected over 3 Australian Football seasons were also assessed by effect size and meaningful differences. Running capacity decreases after 5:00 minutes by ∼3% for each 2:00 minutes of on-field time up to 9:00 minutes, with variable responses between positions up to 6.7% for nomadic players. For each rotation less than 6 per game, clear small-to-moderate decreases up to 3.6% in running capacity occurred per rotation. To maintain a high level of running capacity, shorter on-field periods are more effective in Australian Football; however, players and coaches should be aware that with interchange restriction, slightly longer on-field periods achieve similar results.
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