Bozzini, BN, McFadden, BA, Walker, AJ, and Arent, SM. Varying demands and quality of play between in-conference and out-of-conference games in Division I collegiate women's soccer. J Strength Cond Res 34(12): 3364-3368, 2020-The purpose of this study was to assess differences in physical workloads, physiological responses, and performance variables between in-conference (IC) and out-of-conference (OC) games during a collegiate women's soccer season. Female field players (N = 11), who played a minimum of 45 minutes for >50% of games, were evaluated using an integrative GPS and HR monitoring system to determine training load (TL), exercise energy expenditure (EEE), total distance covered (DIS), sprints, time spent in HR zones 4 and 5 (HRZ4 = 80-89% HRmax; HRZ5 = 90-100% HRmax), and distance covered in speed zones 4 and 5 (DISZ4 = 15.0-19.9 km·h; DISZ5 = ≥20 km·h). In addition, percent passing accuracy (PA%), dribbling success (DS%), tackling success (TS%), and challenges won (CW%) were generated for all games. Workload data were analyzed as a rate per minute playing time (PT) per game to account for differences in game duration and PT between OC (n = 7) and IC games (n = 11). Repeated-measures multivariate analyses of variance with univariate follow-ups and effect sizes (Hedges' g) were conducted to compare conditions (OC vs. CON) (p < 0.05). There were significantly greater TL, DIS, EEE, and HRZ5 per minute PT in OC versus IC games (Hedges' g: TL = 0.48; DIS = 0.20, EEE = 0.55; HRZ5 = 0.83; p < 0.05). Further analysis found significant differences in first half play favoring OC games (p < 0.05), but not second half play (p > 0.05). Based on these findings, OC games seem to be more demanding compared to IC, particularly during first half play. Emphasis should be placed on tailoring TL to the accumulating in-season demands through athlete-monitoring technology to prevent declines in performance in the latter half of the season.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation