Tournament and position-specific time-motion analyses of elite Rugby Sevens players during match play
Van den Berg, Pieter H.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the physiological demands Rugby Sevens places on its players with regard to time-motion analyses, focusing on possible player positional differences and differences that may exist among different levels of tournaments. Players were clustered into three groups, namely forward, backline and all-rounder players. Nineteen elite male (n=19), senior RS players of the Zimbabwean national team were used in the study. One hundred and eleven (111) data sets of the elite male, senior rugby sevens players with a mean age of 27.2 years participated in the study. Data sets were gathered at matches from three tournaments held in the same month. Time-motion analyses data were captured with a Global Positioning System (GPS) device at 10 Hz (Catapult Innovation, Melbourne, Australia) depicting movements which include standing, walking, slow jogging, fast jogging, cruising and sprinting. Results indicated that all-rounder players travelled a significant percentage of time less cruising than backline (d=0.55) and forward players (d=0.86). Forward players covered a significant percentage of time less sprinting than the all-rounder (d=0.98) and backline players (d=0.73), but a significant percentage of time more on slow jogging than was the case with the backline players (d = 0.57). The disparities that exist might be due to the different responsibilities of the player positional subgroups. Players exhibited a practically significantly higher average speed and lower work-torest ratios during international matches than during the district and national tournaments. Physically superior RS opponents at International tournaments, crowd support and travel fatigue during international tournament may explain the time-motion analyses differences that were found. Results will assist SR sport scientists and coaches in developing better match- and position-specific training sessions which account for player positional and level of tournament differences
- Faculty of Health Sciences