The average and 5-minute high intensity demands of trained female football players and acute fatigue responses from match-play

Andrew Hearn, John Parker, Kirsty Hicks, John Fernandes

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Participation in female football has grown substantially and is accompanied by a greater number of competitions and leagues at every level (Martinez-Lagunas et al., 2014, Journal of Sport and Health Sciences, 3, 258-272). Analysis of both average and high-intensity demands (i.e. highest demand period for a set epoch) and responses across the development pathway can support practitioners in understanding running volumes and conditioning players (Whitehead et al. 2019, Science and Medicine in Football, 3, 63-69). The aims of this study were 1) quantify the average and 5-minute-high intensity phase (HIP) match-play demands of collegiate female football players and 2) quantify the acute fatigue response elicited from competition. After ethical approval, twenty-one trained female football players (age 20.0±1.3, mass 64.9±12.9 kg) volunteered to
1830 take part in the study. Participants completed 3 trials of a countermovement jump (CMJ) on a force plate (Forcedecks, Australia) pre- and post-match to quantify fatigue responses. Global positioning systems (Catapult, Australia) were used to quantify external loads with fixed speed zones (high-speed 1835 running 15.6-20.0km/h, sprinting >20.0km/h based off of previous work. Linear mixed models with fixed and random effects were employed for analysis of the average (n=45) and HIP (n=63) demands. CMJ data (n=35) was analysed using t-tests. Players covered total distances (TD) of ~8315 of which 509m 1840 and 155m were high speed running (HSR) and sprinting (SD),
respectively; defenders covered less HSR than other positions
(P<0.004). During 5-minute HIP’s, no differences were observed
for accelerations and PlayerLoad between positional groups
(P>0.05). Attackers covered more high-speed running than central defenders (P=0.05; ES=1.16) and midfielders (P=0.05; ES=1.01). Comparisons between match-thirds showed evidence of transient fatigue (P<0.05) i.e. temporary reductions in work rate within match-play (Reilly, Drust and Clarke, 2008,
Sports Medicine, 38, 357-367). TD (P<0.05; ES=0.97), HSR 1850 (P<0.05; ES = 0.79) and SD (P<0.05; ES=0.45) were reduced in the final third of the match. TD (P<0.05; ES=0.80) and HSR (P<0.05; ES=0.33) decreased after the most demanding third, though, this could be due to opposition or tactical factors. For
CMJ variables, only concentric peak force relative (P=0.035; 1855 ES=0.85), mean power relative (P=0.034; ES=0.62) and RFD relative (P=0.033; ES=0.64) changed post-match. These data provide insights into the volume and high intensity demands experienced during female soccer match-play and subsequent fatigue response. Coaches should use these data when creating conditioning programmes for collegiate female soccer.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventBASES Conference 2023 - Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Nov 202317 Nov 2023


ConferenceBASES Conference 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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