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The pre- and post-pitch-entry physical and technical responses of rugby league interchange players according to starting status.

Hills, S. P., Crang, Z.L., Russell, M. and Johnston, R.D., 2022. The pre- and post-pitch-entry physical and technical responses of rugby league interchange players according to starting status. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching. (In Press)

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DOI: 10.1177/17479541221089306


This study quantified the activities of interchange players during the 15 min before and 20 min after initial pitch-entry (INTentry) or re-entry (INTre-entry) for substitutes and starters, respectively, and identified relationships between pre- and post-pitch-entry responses. Fourteen semi-professional rugby league players wore Microelectromechanical Systems and were filmed throughout 10 matches in which they were interchanged (68 observations). Twelve physical and technical variables were analyzed for the pre-match warm-up, five, 10, and 15 min before INTentry or INTre-entry (physical variables only), and five min epochs following match-introduction. Linear mixed models indicated that during the 0-5 min following INTentry, physical and technical responses were typically greater (~7.1% to 66.3%) than subsequent epochs while total (~6.2%) and high-speed (37.1%) distance also exceeded the 0-5 min after INTre-entry (p<0.05). Edge forwards reached higher peak speeds (11.4% to 11.7%) than hookers and middle forwards, but hookers completed more passes (87.4% to 90.5%). Pre-pitch-entry movements were positively associated with post-pitch-entry tackles (r= 0.43 to 0.49) and high-speed distance (r= 0.46), but negatively associated with total distance (r= -0.32 to -0.68). Within tolerable limits, increasing the activity performed during the ~15 min before pitch-entry could benefit high-speed match-play performance indicators. Transient changes in post-pitch-entry physical and technical responses could reflect self-pacing strategies, contextual factors, or perceived preparedness. The apparent absence of progressive performance-limiting fatigue, characterised by a plateau in responses after the initial five min following INTentry or INTre-entry, may suggest a role for interchange players to provide a more sustained impact and thus achieve interchange objectives.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Intermittent, warm-up, rewarm-up, substitute, team sports Performance analysis
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:36724
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:08 Mar 2022 13:31
Last Modified:20 Apr 2022 14:55


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