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Who is the prominent tactical position in rink-hockey? A network approach based on centrality metrics

Oliveira, P. ; Clemente, F.M.C. ; Martins, F.

Journal of Physical Education and Sport Vol. 15, Nº 4, pp. 657 - 662, December, 2015.

ISSN (print): 1582-8131
ISSN (online): 2066-2483

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Abstract
The aim of this study was to verify the prominence levels of rink-hockey players in different competitive levels. For that reason, it was analysed the variance of network centrality metrics between competitive levels and tactical positions. Fifty-four rink-hockey players from five different levels (U12, U14, U16, U18 and Elite) were analysed during three official matches. The results did not found statistical differences in centrality levels of players between competitive levels (p-value = 1.00; partial eta square = 0.001; very small effect size). Nevertheless, tactical position (p-value = 0.001; partial eta square = 0.534; moderate effect size) had significant main effects on the centrality metrics. In this study it was found that defender and forward are the positions that most receive balls from the teammates. In other hand, the forward is the position that most passes performed until the U16 and in older levels the defender assumes the centrality in passes performed.
Keywords: Graph Theory; Adjacency Matrices; Network Analysis; Performance; Passes.