Activity profiles of elite wheelchair rugby players during competition
journal contributionposted on 04.08.2015 by James Rhodes, Barry Mason, Bertrand Perrat, Martin J. Smith, Laurie A. Malone, Vicky Goosey-Tolfrey
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To quantify the activity profiles of elite wheelchair rugby and establish classification-specific arbitrary speed zones. Additionally, indicators of fatigue during full matches were explored. Methods: Seventy-five elite wheelchair rugby players from eleven national teams were monitored using a radio-frequency based, indoor tracking system across two international tournaments. Players who participated in complete quarters (n = 75) and full matches (n = 25) were included and grouped by their International Wheelchair Rugby Federation functional classification: group I (0-0.5), II (1.0-1.5), III (2.0-2.5) and IV (3.0-3.5). Results: During a typical quarter, significant increases in total distance (m), relative distance m·minˉ¹), and mean speed (m·sˉ¹) were associated with an increase in classification group (P<0.001), with the exception of group III and IV. However, group IV players achieved significantly higher peak speeds (3.82 ± 0.31 m·sˉ¹) than groups I (2.99 ± 0.28 m·sˉ¹), II (3.44 ± 0.26 m·sˉ¹) and III (3.67 ± 0.32 m·sˉ¹). Groups I and II differed significantly in match intensity during very low/low speed zones and the number of high-intensity activities in comparison with groups III and IV (P < 0.001). Full match analysis revealed that activity profiles did not differ significantly between quarters. Conclusions: Notable differences in the volume of activity were displayed across the functional classification groups. However, the specific on-court requirements of defensive (I and II) and offensive (III and IV) match roles appeared to influence the intensity of match activities and consequently training prescription should be structured accordingly.
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from UK Sport and the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences