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Acute effects of number of players and scoring method on physiological, physical, and technical performance in small-sided soccer games

Clemente, F.M.C. ; Wong, D. P. ; Martins, F. ; Mendes, R.

Research in Sports Medicine Vol. 22, Nº 4, pp. 1 - 34, December, 2014.

ISSN (print): 1543-8635
ISSN (online): 1543-8627

Journal Impact Factor: 1,704 (in 2014)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1080/15438627.2014.951761

Aim: The study aims to examine the effect of differences in the number of players and scoring method on heart rate responses, time–motion characteristics, and technical/tactical performance during small-sided soccer games. Method: Ten male amateur soccer players (26.4 ± 5.3 years old, 8.4 ± 3.2 years of practice, 179.3 ± 5.2 cm body height, 71.2 ± 7.1 kg body weight, 45.8 ± 2.6–1min–1VO2max) from the Portuguese regional league played 9 different small-sided games (i.e., 3 formats x 3 scoring methods). The study used two-way MANOVA, two-away ANOVA, and one-way ANOVA, depending on the specific procedure for the analysis. Results: Compared with other formats, 2v2 induced significantly greater values of technical/tactical indexes (p=0.001), 3v3 induced significantly higher %HRreserve values (p=0.001), and 4v4 led to significantly greater distance coverage and speed (p =0.001). Conclusion: The study provided evidence for coaches to set different small-sided game conditions depending on the training purpose in terms of physiological, physical, and technical performance.
Keywords: task constraints, performance analysis, match analysis, team sports assessment procedure